When I stepped out into the bright sunlight, from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman, and a ride home.
With those words is bracketed a powerful story written in the mid-1960s when the author S.E. Hinton was only 15 and in her sophomore year. It is not only a hard-hitting story of gangs and street violence engendered by an insurmountable class divide, but also one of heroism, bonding, belonging, love and friendship that tugs, oh so relentlessly, at the heartstrings. The messages in Outsiders are just as relevant today as they were 40 years ago when this novel was first published.
Parents should be cautioned that the story is centered around the theme of the rough life of kids on the outside, and as such is rife with references to – and incidents of - violence, teen smoking, alcohol abuse and petty theft. This coming of age novel gets a SmartBean thumbs up regardless. It is a must-read!
Ponyboy can count on his brothers and his friends, but not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids who get away with everything, including beating up greasers like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect--until the night someone takes things too far.
Written forty-five years ago, S. E. Hinton's classic story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society remains as powerful today as it was the day it was written.