Theo Hawkshaw, a sensible boy growing up in urban Chicago, is lucky; he has a grandfather who loves to travel with him and a best friend named Winston who loves adventure. When Theo meets a horse named Rocket that lives on a ranch in the Illinois countryside, he knows he's found a true friend in this amazing horse.
As Theo approaches his teenage years, however, his life takes an unpredictable turn; before he knows it, bad luck follows him wherever he goes, and tragedy strikes. The life he knew and loved has changed forever, leaving Gramps, Rocket, and Winston in the past. In this new unrecognizable life, Theo must find the courage to move beyond the shroud of darkness and depression. With the help of a kind teacher, an unsuspecting friend, and loving parents, Theo discovers his own hidden talents and his true passion in life. Will he throw his life away or follow his passion? Only time will tell.
In this novel, a teenage boy must find his way back to happiness after tragedy with the help of friends, family, and a very special horse.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The one person young Theo held in regard above all others was his beloved grandpa, whom he called Gramps. Even though his family lived in the middle of a busy city, Gramps was always finding places to take Theo that brought both of them close to wilderness. On one trip they hiked up mountains in Colorado during the winter months where the snow covered the ground and the wild sheep blended in with their white coats. Then they switched gears and took a trip to Miami, Florida. In Miami they encountered the intense and sometimes dangerous life of animals as predators were hiding everywhere. In all of these wonderful trips Theo was constantly asking questions and loved the time with his grandpa where he learned so much from the information his Gramps had gained over the years. There was also a trip these two took together that was a little closer to home that brought them to a place called Three Pines Ranch. Here is where Theo was introduced to a palomino gelding named Rocket who just captured Theo’s imagination, as he was amazed that an animal that large could be controlled by a human on its back. However, when Theo’s grandfather suddenly passes away, Theo is left with a hole in his heart that he cannot seem to fill with anything else. His grandfather was the sole person who could help him see the wonders in life and with him gone Theo is having trouble finding anything enjoyable in his world. On top of that, his best friend and neighbor moves away to Colorado with his family, leaving Theo utterly alone to face life by himself. He has no interest in the subjects in school and the constant bullying from other students continues to tear down his confidence. As his grades drop and interest in life declines, his parents become worried that they won’t be able to find something to help bring their son out of his depressing state. The answer will come from an unlikely friend and a sweet horse from Theo’s past that no one expected. This story presented a quite relatable character in Theo and I instantly enjoyed reading about him. I also found myself wanting to help him though this hard time in his life. In that regard the author, W.H. Raymond, did well in creating a character and story that pulls at the heartstring and pulls the reader in effectively. The one critique I would have for this story is that the title is slightly deceiving as the main focus is on the character of Theo but only a small portion of the story included that horse named Rocket. So, in hindsight, after reading this book I did expect more mention of Rocket based on the title. Overall, however, I found this to be a very enjoyable read. Quill says: A story with a sweet relatable character that pulls at all your heartstrings.
Reviewed by Chris (age 16) for Reader Views (11/16) In “Theo and a Horse Named Rocket” by W.H. Raymond, the author’s main point was to teach about living and even possibly life's lessons, through the experiences of Theo and Rocket. Theo was presented with many bumps in the road and still conquered them by getting assistance from others while trying to find his passions in life. The author’s great writing style included imagery and made me feel like I was a serious part of Theo's life. She did very well in carrying out the purpose of the publication and writes great. The book is generally for young adults ages 13 up as it presents good life experiences and shows someone going through a struggle and dealing with it. Horse lovers will love the cover as I enjoyed examining it because it is an eventful novel cover. I’m glad I didn’t judge the book by the cover like people might do, thinking it’s just a story about a horse and not about the life of Theo. I can relate to this topic from my personal experiences and finding my own passions. I enjoyed the book and it wasn’t the genre that I generally read. Even through the trials and tribulations that Theo faced, he still came out strong with a support group and a wonderful horse. My recommendation would be to try not to present so many characters or use such large print in future novels. I honestly enjoyed the storyline and my favorite part was when Theo went through his tragedy and still came out intact and together as a person, which is the type of person I would look up to. W.H. Raymond provides a heart wrenching and thrilling viewpoint in “Theo and a Horse Named Rocket.” I would enjoy reading her future novels, as I couldn’t seem to put this one down! “Theo and a Horse Named Rocket” was eventful and adventurous and I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone!