The Outsiders, written by S.E. Hinton when he was 16 and published when he was 18 in 1967, is a coming-of-age novel that was quite controversial when it first came out. The book is still banned from certain schools because of its portrayal of gang violence, underage smoking, use of strong language and family dysfunction. But this book is mostly part of the curriculum for middle and high schools. I first read this book when I was in 9th grade in my English class; but when I remembered about it one day, I decided I needed to buy it.
The Outsiders, as the title suggests, follows a group of teenagers living in a poor neighborhood and thus being outsiders. They are called Greasers. We follow the thoughts of a 14 year old boy named Ponyboy. He has two big brothers, Sodapop, 16 going-on-17, and Darry, 20. Their gang is made up of other boys between the ages of 16 and 20. There’s Two-Bit, Steve, Johnny and Dallas. On the other side of town there’s the Socs, short for Socials. They’re the rich kids. Greasers and Socs never get along. The Socs often jump the Greasers and beat them up. Johnny was badly beaten up by a gang of five Socs one day, and when those same Socs tried to beat up him and Ponyboy, they had a bad surprise. The story continues following Ponyboy as he comes across many obstacles.
I simply adore this book. It is easily the best novel I’ve ever read so far. It’s such a powerful story and so well written. It’s not well written in the sense that it’s all fancy, but it’s written really as if we were in the thoughts of a 14 year old Greaser boy. Full of slang words like “rumble” and he even describes the difference between “tough” and “tuff”. Even though towns aren’t separated like that anymore (Greasers vs. Socs) the book is still capable of teaching us not to judge someone by how he looks or by where he lives. For example, even though Ponyboy is from the poor side of town, he still goes to a good school and is one of the best students there. I, without a doubt, recommend this book to everyone.
Until Next Time!
Young Mom ❤