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Monday, 2 June 2014

Review: The Outsiders

Author: S. E. Hinton

Release date: This edition 6th March 2003, first published 1967
Genre: Realism, Coming-of-age story
Target audience: YA
Publisher: Puffin

The Outsiders is a timeless story of growing up, of boys becoming men, of social divide and the crossing of boundaries. It’s a short book but perhaps because of that every word has a purpose.

Ponyboy is a Greaser like his two brothers Soda and Darry. Ponyboy’s the youngest of the group and he loves the cinema and reading. He’s a little softer than the other Greasers but he’d never admit it to them. The Greasers are rivals with the Socs. The Greasers are working class. The Socs are middle class rich kids. The Socs drive by the Greasers and when they find one on their own they beat them up real good – like they did with Ponyboy’s friend Johnny. There is a dangerous current brewing between the Socs and the Greasers and it won’t end well.

This is a story about brotherhood and friendship. It’s about being part of a loyal band of young men and how for some this is the only family they have. It’s also about the choice between being a villain or a hero. We’re not talking capes here. We’re talking about how you treat others, how you sacrifice yourself for someone else.

I feel like I’m trying to explain this book too much. It really isn’t complicated. It’s a story of how circumstances can run away with you and how suddenly life can be extinguished. It’s sad but it is also glorious because to have the loyalty of a band of brothers can help make a boy become a man.

I enjoyed The Outsiders so much. It’s as relevant now as it was when it was first published. Read it.

Source: Borrowed from the school library

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