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*The Outsiders* by S.E. Hinton - young adult book review


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The Outsiders
by S.E. Hinton
Young adult 192 pages Puffin November 1997 (reprint) Paperback    

S.E. Hinton's classic novel The Outsiders is truly young adult fiction at its best. No other YA book comes close to Hinton's profoundly touching novel, written in 1967 when she was only 16.

Meet Ponyboy. Fourteen years old. Tough as nails. Ponyboy introduces us to the world of the greasers and socs (socials). A soc is wealthy, has the run of the town and school, can get away with anything, and has an attitude that never stops. A greaser is poor yet proud. A greaser lives in a world run by socs yet makes his mark in his own way. A greaser is an outcast and must watch his back, but has the firm, undying support of his fellow greasers.

One horrible night, Ponyboy's friend and fellow greaser, Johnny, kills a soc. No longer is life black and white for Ponyboy; it has puddled into varying shades of gray. Ponyboy must confront the fragility of life, his own destructiblety, and comes to the realization that pain is pain, no matter your status or "clique."

Today, nearly 30 years later, The Outsiders remains as fresh and relevant as it was when first published. This masterpiece of American literature has many undertones and storylines that modern teenagers and even adults can relate to in their schools or workplaces.

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