Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. New York: Speak, 2012. E-book.
ISBN: 978-1-101-64261-0 E-book: $4.99 USD
The Outsiders is a classic story written by S.E. Hinton that takes place within a few days, yet is able to relate the difficulties that “Greasers”, unfortunate teenage youths in 1960s America, faced. While already stuck in impoverished or otherwise unfortunate circumstances, their problems were only increased by their privileged counterparts, the “Socs.” In the novel, one Greaser, Ponyboy, and his close friend, Johnny, have a physical encounter with a rowdy group of Socs whose intentions are far from honorable. In the scuffle, Johnny attempts to help Ponyboy from being drowned by the Socs, but ends up accidentally murdering one of their adversaries. Knowing their circumstances, knowing the other Socs knew who did it, and knowing how much the odds were stacked against them, they leave town with the help of an older friend of theirs. While away, Ponyboy and Johnny find themselves in yet another unfortunate circumstance when they are faced with a burning building, but Johnny emerges a hero after nearly dying trying to save children from the blaze. Unfortunately, Johnny passes away soon thereafter and the greasers find themselves torn between grief and trying to make sure Johnny was not lost in vain. They attempt to pick up the pieces and keep the dignity the Socs stole from them.
This novel, being a classic, is difficult not to recommend to anyone. It’s a heartwarming novel of a group of kids who, on the outside, are thought to care of nothing but themselves when in reality, they’d love nothing more than to stand up for each other. Misunderstood and underestimated, these kids refuse to let their circumstances and their enemies get the best of them. While it’s an easy favorite, recommending it to current youths sounds difficult considering how dated some of the references within the story might be. Still, many youths of today go through the same prejudice the Greasers went through in the novel and I think it could be something teenagers in similar circumstances would appreciate seeing in a book regardless of the lack of a racially diverse cast of characters.
Connecting the Author, Novel, and Movie
A glimpse at the movie based on this remarkable novel.
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Author: S.E. Hinton