Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Outsiders-by S.E. Hinton

Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. New York, Speak 2003.
ISBN: 014038572x
(First Published: 1967 by: Puffin Books.)
(Image Credit: Cape May County Library, Cape May Court House)

"You still have a lot of time to make yourself be what you want. There's still lots of good in the world. Tell Dally. I don't think he knows" (Hinton, Chapter 12, pg. 177.)

The Outsiders is a classic work of young adult literature that depicts the life of Ponyboy Curtis. He is at a crucial point in his life, where circumstances force him to grow up and leave his childhood behind. Since the loss of his parents, Ponyboy is raised by his two older brothers, Darry and Sodapop, as well as a mix of rowdy and rebellious friends. His life inside and outside of school is dictated by the Socs, a west-side gang of rich kids that live across town. He spends most of his time with the east-side Greasers, a combination of his brothers and friends. Being a Greaser is not only a label for a hair style and way of dress, it also signifies the poorer side of town where teenagers are known for being a bunch of tough troublemakers.

After a murder, Ponyboy is forced to make decisions based on his loyalties to his friends and family, the differences between right and wrong, as well as discovering what exactly he wants for himself. He struggles through life as an endless amount of hardships and losses are thrown his way. In the end, he is left trying to live by the advice given to him by one of his closest friends, “Stay golden.” Ponyboy must decide if he can stay true to himself, or is he will succumb to the tragedy and violence that has weaved its way into his life.

The Outsiders has won the Virginia Readers' Choice Awards, for High School (9-12). It is an award sponsored by the Virginia State Reading Association, which encourages the state's students to become familiar with classic literature, as well as sponser the encouragement of creating a life-long apprecitaion for recreational reading. Students nominated books and later vote on a winner. (NoveList, 2009)

The Outsiders is also part of Oprah's Kids' Reading List, which is part of a joint effort between oprah Winfrey and the American Library Association (ALA), to encourage children and young adults to read. (NoveList, 2009)

Here are also some past awards:

New York Herald Tribune Best Teenage Books List, 1967
Chicago Tribune Book World Spring Book Festival Honor Book, 1967
Media and Methods Maxi Award, 1975
ALA Best Young Adult Books, 1975
Massachusetts Children’s Book Award, 1979

Check out more information about S.E.Hinton and learn about other books she has written at: