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on 1 December 2014
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on 21 November 2016
Ordered for my son for school
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on 1 June 2015
I’ve never read an SE Hinton book before; I’ll admit that until I read the introduction of The Outsiders that I didn’t even realise that Hinton was female. I assumed that a book about teenage boys and gang culture was written by a male writer. This was the first of many shocks; good shocks but ones that made me realise that I had a prejudice in me that I wasn’t aware of. Another surprise is that a book of such high acclaim could be written by someone so young. Hinton wrote her debut novel at the tender age of 17. Impressive – there is not much else to say on that matter

The Outsiders centres on two rival gangs the ‘Greasers’ and the ‘Socs.’ The ‘Greasers’ come from the wrong side of the tracks, have no money, work hard but for very little and they have little chance of bettering themselves. As opposed to the ‘Socs’ – the middle/upper class people of society who get away with whatever they do because they have the money to back them up.

Things get out of hand when greaser Johnny kills a Soc when trying to save his friend (and the protagonist of this story) Ponyboy. This causes an out and out war between both gangs and the results are fatal.

It would be fair to say that nearly 50 years on from its publication date that the slang in The Outsiders is dated but the intention and the thematic resonance of the book is still extremely powerful and relevant in modern society. There are still gang related crimes happening everyday; there are still young children playing at being grown-ups with no worry of the consequence. SE Hinton’s debut novel is still as potent and as readable today as it would have been when it was first released.

What I will say is that as a book reviewer it does take a lot to impress me and whilst I do really like a lot of the books that I read it does take something special to have be finish it in one sitting. That is exactly what happened with The Outsiders. This book is a classic for a reason.

The Outsiders by SE Hinton is available now.
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on 19 April 2015
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on 17 November 2016
I want to know why I was never required to read this book in school? It is freaking amazing!
Another blogger friend of mine posted about her copy of The Outsiders and it intrigued me. Then I asked my husband about the book and he said he read it and it was awesome. So I knew I had to give this book a shot. I am so glad I did. I fell in love with Ponyboy and what he was going through.
We have the greasers and the socs. They live on opposites of town and can not stand each other. They all fight to fight but in reality they are just the same.
One night changes everything in Ponyboy's world and we see how he changes. You can tell that the greasers are a family and will be there for each other and take of one another.
I love the family dynamics that is within Ponyboy's family. His brothers want the best for him and that is awesome.
The characters are unique and memorable. This book was not hard to read and understand it was simple. I think I need to own this book just because. I think I will be finding myself reading it again. This is one story that should still be required to read!
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on 17 April 2015
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VINE VOICEon 6 September 2017
Recently, I had occasion to re-visit one of my long time favorite novels. It’s also no doubt one of Tulsa, Oklahoma's most famous novels—and certainly a staple in many American lit classes. S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders” has been hailed a one of the books that altered the course of juvenile literature in America with her first novel.

Published when she was 17 and a freshman at the University of Tulsa, it was not without its controversy. She said that she was tired of the “fluffy high school stories about proms and dates typical of the 1960s.” She asked, "Where is reality?" in an essay explaining her motivation in the “New York Times Book Review.” The book, set in Tulsa in the 1960s, has been challenged and banned for its alleged depiction of controversial and “ungodly” themes (whatever those are).

The novel follows two rival groups, the Greasers and the Socs, who are divided by their socioeconomic status. Alas, the novel’s popularity could not shield it from the criticisms of religious groups. Churches throughout the country have made public statements arguing that the novel should be kept away from young readers. The religious officials argued that the novel depicts drugs, violence, sex, and the results of falling from the Christian path.

In 1986 the book was challenged in Milwaukee for its inclusion on an eighth grade reading list. The parents involved in the complaint against the book argued that the book should be removed because “drug and alcohol abuse was common and virtually all the characters are from broken homes.”

Higher courts did not concur and, of course, the book is not banned in America.

The novel is the story of a traumatic time in the life of recently orphaned 14-year-old Ponyboy Curtis, a member of the lower class and a gang of "greasers." Quiet and dreamy, Ponyboy has conflicts with his older brother and guardian, Darrel, who keeps the family together. Set against them are the upper-class socials, or Socs, who enjoy drinking, driving nice cars, and beating up greasers (so-called because of their hair style).

Hinton’s books ("Tex" and "Rumble Fish" are two of her more popular books) are easy to read and she is able to “capture the moment” in the lives of her teenage characters. As a fellow English teacher said of “The Outsiders,” “It’s not Tolstoy or Holden Caulfield, but the kids read it, willingly, and just getting them to read anything is an accomplishment.”

As far as we know, today’s Tulsa is not the same as it was some 60 years ago, but probably there’s still a Ponyboy somewhere in one of their schools.
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on 22 November 2017
The story takes place in Oklahoma, although this is never mentioned in the book. It follows the rivalry between two gangs: The Greasers (from the poorer part of town) and The Socs (short for Socials – the rich kids). The story is told from the point of view of Ponyboy Curtis, a 14-year old Greaser, who lives with his two brothers, Darry and Sodapop, both older than him. The book begins with Ponyboy leaving the movie theatre and walking home when he’s attacked by a group of Socs. His brothers and fellow Greasers come to save him before he’s hurt too badly.

The book is very easy to read, short and concise. For this reason and others, I recommend it to be read while young. I must admit, that reading it in my late 20’s, it lost a lot of impact on me. When you’re older, youths problems seem less important. However, S.E. Hinton did a great job of capturing the struggles of teenagers, from social acceptance to personal moral values. I invite you to read it and find out…are you a Greaser or a Socs?
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on 9 February 2017
As expected
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on 24 June 2016
This book has been lurking on my shelf for God knows.

I remember reading it years ago, but all that I remembered were the names. But, who could forget Ponyboy and Sodapop. I even remember Darry and Johnny since they were so plain in comparison.

I have very mixed feelings about the book, but I like it. It’s a strange notion when you can find more wrong than good but still love it.
But, I’ll start with what’s wrong in the book.

For one, it’s a very short book for so much to happen in it. A lot of the book felt rather rushed at times, not fully appreciating the severity of some scenes and the detail needed to fully pull them off. But I do think the author might have been uncomfortable writing out death scenes, which when she wrote this she was very young which could account for this, the death scenes seemed rushed and with a lack of emotion.
I struggled with the language, maybe since I don’t like to use too much slang and this book is full of it. But, I’m also Scottish so the slang will be very different to what I’d hear on the day to day but also I don’t know much about gangs nor have I read many books on it to know what any of those sorts of references are. So I felt I spent a lot of time searching what all these different things were.

I also felt as though it wasn’t very consistent, one minute describing the colours in the sunset. Then the next offering no detail at all to work from. I don’t mind a lack of detail, in fact I loathe when a book does nothing but describe things for me. It takes away the imagination needed for me to fully grasp the book.

Now for the better stuff, the good points.

The characters are all unique, they all have different personalities and they show through.

Ponyboy has kept his unique childlike innocence even though he lost his parents and was raised around gangs and rumbles. He may partake in a lot of the activities but he still has the voice of reason that so many of us lose with age and experience. He still sees it as strange that two friends could turn to hate because of what side they are on.

A lot happens, I hate books that it’s all centred on one small thing and there’s no addition to it. This, this has a lot going on and kept me interested all the way through.

I found it to be a very unique read, maybe other gang books are the same or even better. But for me it wasn’t quite like anything else. I usually end up with highly detailed and brutal crime books. But not always. This wasn’t brutal in most ways, nothing brutal happened. But it was still enjoyable and a nice change to the usual.
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