Hinton, S.E. (1997). The outsiders. New York: Puffin.
Genre: Realistic fiction
Intended audience: Mid-teens
Personal reaction to the book: I did not like it as assigned reading in junior high; I do not like it now. On page 162 or so, Ponyboy says “I would rather have anybody’s hate instead of their pity.” So why have we had to read the previous 161 pages of self-pitying detail about how hard his life is to get this epiphany?
More than any other single book, The outsiders is what drove me away from “young adult” reading (then called “teen literature”) and into the adult section of the Armstrong Public Library, so I guess I should be thankful.
I hated it in school (probably because the poor, downtrodden “greasers” in my school didn’t fight the rich kids, they bounced nerds off of lockers); I only dislike it now. It would be a stretch to say it’s growing on me. Originally published in 1967, it is not going away, so I’m clearly in a minority here.
Author facts: Hinton struggled with writer’s block after The outsiders was published. Her boyfriend (now husband) forced her to write two pages a day before they could do anything, which helped her over the hurdle. She divulges little about her personal life, saying it makes her uncomfortable.
Related website: http://www.sehinton.com/