Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton: Book Review

I picked this up at our Guelph Humber book swap last year since I couldn't remember if I had actually read it or just saw the movie. Turns out it was just the movie I saw (I haven't seen it since I was a teenager, but I remember it was a lovely  movie -- now must have another showing of it)

The Outsiders
S.E. Hinton
Penguin Books
ISBN: 0-14-038572-X

Description: According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser. This classic, written by S. E. Hinton when she was 16 years old, is as profound today as it was when it was first published in 1967.

The Good Stuff
  • Wonderful characters with great names. Come on who doesn't love Ponyboy and Sodapop
  • Interesting social commentary on violent class conflicts
  • Realistic portrayal of the relationship between the boys at the time this book was written
  • Wonderful commentary on the senselessness of violence
  • Ponyboy is such a wonderful rich character and the relationship between him and his brothers is what makes this such a wonderful novel for teens
  • The relationship between Johnny and the various members of the gang
  • Makes you think twice before you judge someone based on their manner of dress or hairstyle
  • Interesting  paragraph on understanding that boys need to burn off steam (very true lets stop denying our kids have some agression and instead lets help them find some healthy ways for them to burn it off)
  • A hopeful ending
The Not so Good Stuff
  • It isn't as powerful to read it now as things are quite a lot more violent these days and there troubles seem to pale in comparison to what youths are up against now.
  • I wasn't completely surprised that it was written by a younger writer, as the literary skills aren't up to snuff -- not judging because her writing is far superior than mine
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Stay Gold Ponyboy"

"You can't win, even if you whip us. You'll still be where you were before - at the bottom. And we'll still be the lucky ones with all the breaks. So it doesn't do any good, the fighting and the killing. It doesn't prove a thing."

What I Learned
  • That this was actually written by a 16 year old girl -  boy was I ever a lazy 16 year old, I was just mooning over Mike Tinker and trying to get my homework done
  • The meaning of Stay Gold Ponyboy
Who should/shouldn't read
  • This should be required reading for grade 7 and up boys and girls
4 Dewey's

I picked this up at the Guelph Humber book swap last year and did not have to review it, just felt like it


  1. I listened to this one earlier this year and did not know the author was 16 at the time of writing it.

  2. I remember the movie from childhood, but had no idea it was written by a teen girl. Impressive.

  3. Funny you recommend it for Grade 7 and up--this was required reading for me in 7th grade, quite a few years ago... Interesting you felt it wasn't as violent as what we might see today. I like that about the book. I think it gets at all the same issues and makes the same points, without going overboard with the blood. I think the Greasers were meant to walk a fine line where they're on the edge of being really dangerous, without being truly criminal, or irredeemable. I did know this was written by a teen girl, and while it shows sometimes, I also think the strong narrative voice carries the reader over the rough patches. And after all, it's supposed to have been written by a fourteen-year-old boy...

  4. I loved this book. At first it seemed weird and confusing, but everything feel into place. I would recommend this book to anyone above 13. It was inspirational and makes you think about what p life is about and a different perspective than what most people are used to.
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