Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Outsiders

Title: The Outsiders
Author: S.E. Hinton
Pages: 180
Speak Platinum Edition, 1967 (revised 1995)
Genre: Classic
Recommended to: Teens of both genders, 13 and older
Rating: A+

Ponyboy Curtis has had a pretty hard life for someone who's just 14 years old. His parents passed away when he was just a kid, and he lives with his two brothers, the handsome high-school dropout, Sodapop, and tough, angry Darrel who's constantly trying to protect him. Even though he no longer has parents, Ponyboy has friends and brothers that he can count on. His gang will always be there for him, no matter what happens. Together, with their other friends Dallas, Two-Bit, Johnny, and Steve, the boys are unstoppable and nothing can get in their way, not even the vicious upper-class Socs who'd like nothing more then to see "greasers" (kids of a poorer, working-class) like Ponyboy's gang get beat up or even killed. But then the boys' friendship is put to the ultimate test when one of them gets fatally injured, and they'll have to realize that they'll always be together in soul....even if they are apart.
   I found The Outsiders to be a frank, realistic, and truly terrific novel. It amazes me how S.E. Hinton was only 15 years old-only a year or so older than her protagonist-when she wrote her first novel, yet she has such an adult-like perspective of the world: sincere and truthfully told, not leaving any of the dangerous, difficult, and violent aspects out. This novel really made me open my eyes and see that not all of the world is a happy place, and lots of kids really do have a rough time. This is a story of friendship, brotherhood, love, and belonging that I think people of all ages, genders, and races can relate to, a true classic.
   There's about a zillion copies from lots of different publishers of The Outsiders that you can pick up, but I chose the Penguin Speak Platinum edition (picture above). At the back of the book is an interview with the author and a book-club-directed discussion guide with questions that I definitely think will help you understand the novel more after you're done.


Tatiana said...

Cool blog. The Outsiders is one of my favorite books. I had to read it over the summer for school (BTW I don't really like to read) and I thought it would be just another one of those boring "school books" but I was wrong. It was the best book ever! Sooooo good! nice review.

Susie said...

This summer marked my second summer in a row of reading The Outsiders, and I liked it even more the second time. S.E. Hinton has a real knack for characterization (are the boys' names terrific or what?) and also for diction. She really captures Ponyboy's personality by using simple words to express his very reflective thoughts. Ponyboy is so full of conflict; he struggles throughout the book with his lot in life and his desire to break free from it - I really liked him and felt badly for him. I hope you, like Ponyboy, stay gold. This is a terrific blog site. Best, Mrs. Skirkle

Simmy said...

hey its a great book and i like everyone should get the chance to read a book like this..