Up Late with S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders

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. – goodreads.com

 Although this is by no means a new release, I simply HAD to post about it today. To wrap up my English 9 classes each year, we read S.E. Hinton’s ever-popular The Outsiders. When I tell the students that we will be reading a novel in less than two weeks, I am typically greeted with grunts and sighs. “Another book!” many of them exclaim, exasperated. However, by chapter 4, I would say that 98 percent of my students are completely HOOKED! In fact, many of them don’t stick with our class reading timeline. Instead, they read a chapter or two ahead each night. This is saying a lot! This book has been on Top 20 lists of must-read YA fiction for quite a while, and it’s not a surprise. Many of the themes in this novel are timeless and universal. Students from grade 7 to graduating seniors can find something in this book to relate to. And if you haven’t read it, this would be a great lounge-by-the-pool read this summer.

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