The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: November 1997
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Format: Paperback, 192pp
  • Sales Rank: 7,068
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • Lexile: 750L  What’s This?// What’s This?
One of the goals for my graduate class is to define the characteristics of a classic young adult novel.  I picked The Outsiders as an example of a classic young adult novel because I remembered reading it when I was younger and I have seen my students pick it up here or there throughout the years.  I must say that it has been a long time since I have actually read it.  I’m glad this was one of the classics that I choose to reread.  The introduction provided by S.E. Hinton stated that she wrote this because she felt like there was not enough literature that represented teenagers of her time period.  Isn’t one of the goals of adolescent literature to have examples of characters that young adults can relate to?  I think that she really touched on something there and I am going to use it as a cornerstone to further my studies.
The Outsiders is narrated by Ponyboy and tells his tale of being a greaser.  A greaser is known for his long hair that he greases back.  They are not the same as a gang or hood, as they say in the story, but they tend to stick together.  Greasers are from the “wrong side of the tracks.”  The other group in the story is called the Socs (Socials).  They are the privileged teenagers and for some reason they like to beat up the greasers.  Ponyboy describes each member of his group of friends and gives the reader a lot of opportunities to get to know and love each one of them.  Unfortunately, the reader goes through the destruction and heroism of two of the main characters and receives the commentary that Ponyboy feels through all of the ups and downs his “family” goes through.  It’s a heartbreaking but memorable tale.
5/5 stars
  1. This was one of the best books we read in elementary school. It’s been years since I’ve read it, but I still remember and love it. I really need to read it again. I love your post about it! Your graduate class sounds really fun and interesting. Good luck!

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