It’s true. I made it through high school, college, and years of working with children’s and young adult literature without reading The Outsiders. Now I finally understand why it has been a classic studied consistently for nearly fifty years. The voices of Hinton’s characters are so real and true that they continue to speak to kids from all generations. Ponyboy’s courage, loyalty, and compassion in the midst of a world of violence will always be inspiring. Dally will always be gallant in spite of being a criminal. Johnny will always be a flawed hero. The circumstances of the world change, but young people still recognize the value of perseverance and friendship. I would add this book to my list of ‘must reads’.
Ponyboy Curtis is caught in the middle. He is one of the ‘greasers’ living on the poor side of town. They are at odds with the Socs, a gang of rich kids that beat up greasers for fun. But Ponyboy can see both sides--the plight of the greasers and the pain of the Socs. Pony can hold his own in a fight, but he doesn’t really want to be fighting. But one night things go too far. Can Ponyboy hold on to his compassion when so much violence fills his world?