“They grew up on the outside of society. They weren’t looking for a fight. They were looking to belong.”
― S.E. Hinton,
By S.E. Hinton
Ponyboy can count on his brothers and his friends, but not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids who get away with everything, including beating up greasers like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect–until the night someone takes things too far.
Written forty-five years ago, S. E. Hinton’s classic story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society remains as powerful today as it was the day it was written.
So, to start off with this was the second time I’ve read The Outsiders. I first read this book in middle school as a part of my Language Arts class. This time I read it with my 7th grade students.
The first time I read the novel I fell in love with it. It immediately became one of my favorite books. It was like no other book I had read at the time. It dealt with tough topics and spoke about them bluntly.
As an adult I still really enjoyed this book. However, I’m not sure I would still say that it’s one of my favorite books. I have read a lot of books since the time that I first read The Outsiders. In that time there has been more representation in novels and advances in literature and society.
So, while I still like this book a lot and it holds a special place in my heart i don’t have quite the same feelings I once did.
The characters still held up for me. I will still heartbroken for Johnny and sympathetic for the Curtis brothers. Their relationships and loyalty to their friends are what truly carry this novel through. I loved that my students could relate to some of the struggles the characters went through they don’t often get that opportunity. I also loved that I could tie the themes of loyalty and family into reading Jason Reynolds’ Long Way Down. The two books worked wonderfully together.
Though some of the plot points were not my favorite, and did not have the same effect they once did for me, the relationships in the novel totally made up for that. I will still recommend this novel and I can’t wait to read it again next year.