The Outsiders ~ S. E. Hinton

The Outsiders

Date Completed: 12/21/2016

Rating: 9/10

This is a classic. If you haven’t heard the line, “Stay Gold, Ponyboy,” You’ve either been living under a rock or skipped US middle schools, which may not be a bad idea. Anyway, this book is pretty stellar, one of the more enjoyable classics. A story about packs of boys and social class, there’s a lot of hard truths to be said.

This is a reread for me, so I took to the time to sit back and notice her writing style a bit more. I loved reading it out loud, as the book just calls for a lazy city accent. S.E. Hinton has a good understanding of the emotions of the characters and this comes across in her writing without being overbearing.

The plot in general, I would say, follows a kind of predictable path with plenty of foreshadowing and premonition from characters. This is not a bad tactic, and it’s very straight forward for young readers, but it doesn’t leave a lot to be uncovered. At the same time, S.E. Hinton does not pussyfoot around danger. She doesn’t care who’s reading this book, she feels like she needs to tell the story how it is, full of violence, love, hurt, pain, sorrow, all of it. I’ve been really impressed in general with the Middle Grade novels I’ve read lately, and this reread proved to be just as enjoyable and important.

Of course, it does carry with it the racism and sexism of the times. There’s not much political conversation around identities other than around social class.

Here’s the author’s bio from Goodreads:

S.E. Hinton, was and still is, one of the most popular and best known writers of young adult fiction. Her books have been taught in some schools, and banned from others. Her novels changed the way people look at young adult literature.

Susan Eloise Hinton was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has always enjoyed reading but wasn’t satisfied with the literature that was being written for young adults, which influenced her to write novels like The Outsiders. That book, her first novel, was published in 1967 by Viking.


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