"Out of the Blue": Book #4 in the "High Hurdles" Series

Out of the Blue, Vol. 4 by Lauraine Snelling: Book Cover


Book: Out of the Blue: Book #4 in the “High Hurdles” Series

Author: Lauraine Snelling

Publisher: Bethany House, 1996

ISBN-13: 9781556615085

ISBN-10: 1556615086

Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)

Reading level: Young adult; the series is said to be for ages 11-14 but I would say better for ages 14-18—and of interest to girls only!

Rating: 3 stars (FAIR)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

     Snelling, Lauraine. Out of the Blue: Book #4 in the "High Hurdles" Series (published in 1996 by Bethany House Publishers, a ministry of Bethany Fellowship International, 11400 Hampshire Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55438). My wife Karen picked this book up for our son Jeremy (then age 10) to read because she likes Snelling’s adult fiction and because Jeremy likes books about animals. The series is all about Show jumper D. J. Randall who strives to defy the odds and achieve her dream of winning Olympic Gold in horsemanship. However, after previewing the book, we decided "no way, Jose," is Jeremy going to read it. Bethany House is usually a pretty reliable publisher, and there is nothing in the book that is really bad, but it is NOT–repeat NOT–for ten year old boys. Some of it might make a little more sense if I had read books one through three.

     Joe has married D. J.’s Grandma, and Joe’s son Robert (who has two five-year-old twins—we never know what happened to their mother, but that might be explained in previous books) is going to marry D. J.’s mom. Can we say "blended family" here–I mean, REALLY blended family? Also, D. J. has never known her birth father. It is quite obvious that she was born out of wedlock. Gram says that her daughter Lindy had made "less than perfect choices," and when Lindy explained the situation to D. J., she said that she "had sex" with D. J.’s father. However, when D. J. was born, Lindy refused to have an abortion as suggested by her boyfriend’s father and basically seeks to do what is right, so all of this is handled pretty well, although the advisability of letting younger children read this is highly questionable.

     But the thing that stood out for us was a rather vivid description of fourteen-year-old D. J.’s "first period" (and that has nothing to do with her early morning time at school!). Apparently, it was included to make the books "relevant" and "appealing" to teenage girls. Obviously this is inappropriate for a ten-year-old boy, but Karen even expressed her opinion whether it is really necessary to include at all. Is there nothing any more that is intimate and private enough so as not to be the subject of recreational reading books? The book might be all right for teenage girls, but I was not too impressed with it.

This entry was posted in general youth fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s