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The Outsiders

1 rating: 5.0
A book by S. E. Hinton

According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always … see full wiki

Tags: Book
Author: S. E. Hinton
Genre: Children's Books, Teens
Publisher: Speak
1 review about The Outsiders

One of the First Young Adult Novels.

  • Feb 16, 2007
Writing about the perceived class differences she saw at her own high school, S.E. Hinton became a hit literary sensation and one of the groundbreaking authors of young adult fiction with the publication of THE OUTSIDERS. One of the characteristics of young adult fiction is that adults are rarely present and in THE OUTSIDERS outside of police officers, firefighters, and doctors and nurses, adults don't seem to exist. The protagonist of the novel is a young teenage boy named Ponyboy (yes that is his real name). His parents died a few years before and his oldest brother, Darry, didn't want to split the family apart and has been raising Ponyboy and his other brother Sodapop on his own. The three brothers grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and have had to mostly fend for themselves. They call themselves Greasers and have a close-knit group of friends who stick up for each other. After all when you're not from the right side of the tracks, rich kids, called Socs, like to abuse Greasers just for kicks. Ponyboy is the youngest member of his group. He's a handsome kid who's also highly intelligent. One night he meets a pretty redhead Soc and that cause Ponyboy's life to be turned upside down.

THE OUTSIDERS was first published in 1967, yet not only remains popular, but continues to be relevant as well. The types of gangs that exist in major cities today simply didn't exist forty years ago. Yet the confusion and struggles that Ponyboy experiences are things that just about every teenager in America can relate to in some way. I've worked with a variety of high school students who are reluctant readers. I was surprised at how many site THE OUTSIDERS as their favorite book or the only book they've been forced to read that they actually enjoy. It was this interest in the book by students that led me to finally reading it. The book deals with many important issues that teenagers relate with, from cliques and gangs to difficulties of home life without one's parents. There is a great deal of sadness conveyed in the book, but it is honest and genuine. Despite this, the book ends with a message of hope. You can come from a rough neighborhood and have a tough home life, but those are things that can be overcome. Highly recommended for older children and young adults, especially for those who are reluctant readers.

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