Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

"It seemed funny that the sunset she saw from her patio and the one I saw from the back steps was the same one.  Maybe the two worlds we lived in weren't so different. We saw the same sunset."

I read this one from my young adult literature library school course this semester.

Fourteen-year-old Ponyboy lives with his older brothers, Sodapop and Darry, and is a member of the Greasers, a gang of urban youth from a poor part of the city and rival gang to the Socials, also known as the Socs.  The story opens when Ponyboy is jumped by the Socs and the gang comes to his rescue.  That night, Ponyboy and his friend Johnny are attacked again by the Socs when they are seen with the Soc’s girlfriends.  Johnny ends up killing one of the members and he spends the next week with Ponyboy hiding out in a country church away from town.  Johnny decides to turn himself in, but ends up dying  several days later after the  boys save a group of children when the church starts on fire.  After another member of the gang is killed, Ponyboy becomes depressed, but finds a way to deal with the events when he writes about them for his English assignment.

I generally enjoyed reading the book.  I have not had the chance to read it before and was glad to have the opportunity to read it for this course.  It took me a little while to get use to, but I grew to really like the simple writing style that the author used to portray Ponyboy.  The novel had a fast-paced storyline, which made it easy to get through regardless of the tough events and subject matter.  I also loved the ending where Ponyboy is able to reflect on the tragedies that he faced and begin to rebuild a better life for himself.  This book was very unique in that it brought attention to many different aspects that go along with being an “outsider” in any type of social, class, or economic situation.  The author was able to write the book in a way that makes it relatable to students even if they did not grow up during the time period.  I wish that I would have had the chance to read it as a teenage, but I still was able to take a lot away from the novel as an adult.  Based on this, I would highly recommend the book to others.

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