Flaming Star


119 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-590-71455-4





Reviewed by Teresa Pitman

Teresan Pitman was a childbirth educator in Willowdale, Ontario.


Flaming Star begins as the story of a newly orphaned gypsy boy, Jago, who is looking for work with horses, but it soon becomes the story of the foal he helps to raise. Flaming Star, ridden by Jago, becomes a champion racehorse but is lost when the stable is destroyed in a fire. After a succession of new owners, Star is rescued from an abusive rider at a horse-show and finally returns to the stable where Jago now works.

While the story is written with warmth and genuine affection for horses, it is spoiled by the many inaccuracies, clichés, and improbabilities. It seems unlikely, for example, that no one would look for or recognize this stakes-winning racehorse who ran away from the stable during a fire. The small mistakes about race-track and horse-show procedures are irritating, and the ending seems to have been lifted straight from Black Beauty.

Children who are attracted to this book because of their interest in horses will probably find it disappointing. The details that can bring a story like this to life are missing, and the plot is too familiar to carry the book alone.



Millard, Nicky, “Flaming Star,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 7, 2023, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37553.