Throwback Classic: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton


The Outsiders is pretty much a right of passage in Oklahoma, probably because S.E.Hinton is one of the few successful writers to come out of the state. I don’t know about most towns, but in my hometown, The Outsiders was required reading.

I read this in my 8th grade English class, and it was my gateway into young adult literature. I loved it, and I still remember the discussions we had in class quite vividly. And the movie? Brilliant, but I might be one of the few who thinks so.

For those of you who haven’t read it, here’s the description from Goodreads:

The Outsiders is about two weeks in the life of a 14-year-old boy. The novel tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis and his struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider. According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for “social”) has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers–until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser

In all honesty, I don’t think this description does the book justice, but whatever. I still love it, and I think it’s a great book for young people to read. It’s pretty short, but it’s also entertaining. But it’s also heartbreaking. Seriously, I’m pretty sure I cried in class over this one. Not that this is saying much. I’m a crier.

Anyway, if you haven’t picked this one up yet, read it and then watch the movie (who doesn’t love Patrick Swayze?).


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