by S.E. Hinton
Yes, The Outsiders again! We just can't get enough of it at our house. It seems we have been living in 1965 Tulsa around here lately. My son had to read The Outsiders as a companion piece to his required reading book this past nine weeks. He loved the book. He has now chosen to use it as the subject of a book talk and a literary essay. He has read it twice in the last month. And, with every page turned, he has some new insight to share with me. This book, written over 40 years ago by a 15 year old girl, has changed by son's view on people and how they can be judged.
If you haven't read this book, I would say it is a must. My memory tells me I read it as a youngster, but it is possible I just saw the movie, which was released in 1983. (We watched it last night. The actors, the best looking boys of my youth, looked like babies. Was I ever that young?) I did read it this past month with my son and I was struck by the beauty of its simple prose. I love that a boy is so sensitive and aware. I love even more that, because of Ponyboy, my son now feels he has permission to be just as sensitive and aware. The arc of each of the characters tells young people that we are all able to change dramatically, no matter what our circimstances. It also reminds us that we are all people first. Labels like "soc" and "greaser" come later and have little to do with who we are on the inside.
If you are living with an 11 year old or better, I must recommend this novel to you. I am sure you will dig out lessons that we have yet to find. Please let me know what you think.