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"I could picture hundreds and hundreds of boys living on the wrong sides of cities, boys with black eyes who jumped at their own shadows. Hundreds of boys who maybe watched sunsets and looked at stars and ached for something better. I could see boys going down under street lights because they were mean and tough and hated the world, and because it was too late to tell them that there was still good in it and they wouldn't believe you if you did.... Someone should tell their side of the story, and ...
"I could picture hundreds and hundreds of boys living on the wrong sides of cities, boys with black eyes who jumped at their own shadows. Hundreds of boys who maybe watched sunsets and looked at stars and ached for something better. I could see boys going down under street lights because they were mean and tough and hated the world, and because it was too late to tell them that there was still good in it and they wouldn't believe you if you did.... Someone should tell their side of the story, and maybe people would understand them and wouldn't be so quick to judge a boy by the amount of hair oil he wore."
The Outsiders is a book that delves deeply into the hearts, minds, and stories of a group that had no voice before S. E. Hinton gave them one. She began writing the book at age 15, spurred on by the disturbing trend she saw growing in her high school towards division between groups. "I was worried and angered by the social situation," Hinton writes. "I saw two groups at the extreme ends of the social scale behaving in an idiotic fashion -- one group was being condemned and one wasn't.... When a friend of mine was beaten up for no other reason than that some people didn't like the way he combed his hair, I took my anger out by writing about it."
Thirty years after it was first published, The Outsiders still carries the same frightening and unifying messages for teens (and readers of all ages) of the '90s. The ruthlessly realistic and violent story of the Greasers and the Socs, rival gangs from very different sides of the railroad tracks, is narrated by Ponyboy Curtis, a smart, sensitive kid who has grown to become one of the most recognizable figures in the history of young adult literature. Any teen who has ever felt isolated or different can identify with Ponyboy, a kid forced to be tough on the outside, but who underneath is just as scared and needy as anyone. Hinton herself has said that she has never written a character as close to her own self as Ponyboy is. Young Adult fiction was shaped and defined by Susan Eloise Hinton, and the realism she attached to the genre became the norm, enabling later writers like Robert Cormier and Judy Blume to find characters and voices that actually spoke to adolescents. Since 1967, Ponyboy has become the hero for countless teenagers nationwide, and now, with the rerelease of the book to commemorate 30 years of readers, The Outsiders stands to influence an entire new legion of adolescents who need Ponyboy as much as ever.
Three brothers struggle to stay together after their parents' death, as they search for an identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society in which they find themselves "outsiders."
S E Hinton: Cold and Christmasy.
S E Hinton: I think I was a writer as soon as I learned to read. It is never too early to start practicing because all writing is just practice to get better. 2) I don't like to write until I have something to say. I know that doesn't stop a lot of writers, but it puts a damper on me.
S E Hinton: Thanks for the support, Scott.
S E Hinton: I don't really know. I think it is an age when you would like to have an unusual name. It helps establish identity.
S E Hinton: Most of my settings were inspired by my life in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It's urban, but it is easy to find the rural. RUMBLE FISH is different. I was thinking a lot about mythology and purposely made time and place vague. Francis Coppola enlarged on this by telling the "Rumble Fish" cast it was set two years in the future!
S E Hinton: I like a first-person narrative because it gives you the structure of staying in character. And also it is emotionally involving. Why my alter ego is a 15-year-old boy, I don't know.
S E Hinton: 1) I get the same kind of letters that I got 30 years ago; kids still identify with the emotions and problems. It's still good to see that someone else feels that way. 2) No. I can remember what it is like to be 16, but I am not 16.
S E Hinton: I wrote THAT WAS THEN in approximately four months, two pages a day. I had writer's block for four years after THE OUTSIDERS. That was the way I got over it.
S E Hinton: Three things inspired me: 1) I love to write. I had been writing since grade school. 2) I was mad about the social situation in my high school, where everyone got in their little group and was afraid of the other groups. 3) I wanted something to read! At that time, there wasn't any realistic fiction about teenagers. I wanted to read something that dealt with what I saw kids really doing.
S E Hinton: I was a tomboy and most of my close friends were boys. Female society was very rigid at the time, and I felt that if I said a girl was doing this, nobody would believe it. Basically, I find it easy to write from a male point of view. I always take the easy way. I have written a book, THE PUPPY SISTER, which is told from a female puppy's point of view. In one book I changed gender, genre, and species!
S E Hinton: It was based on the true story of how I brought a puppy home to be a sibling for my son, an only child. They fought a lot, like real siblings. One day, Nick, my son, said, "I think Aleasha is wondering when she is going to turn into a real kid like me." That was my inspiration. P.S. Aleasha really did turn herself into a member of the family.
S E Hinton: The first line was always the same. The circular nature was not original with me, but when I got to the end of the book it seemed the right way to end it. The first draft was very much like the published edition.
S E Hinton: Joel, thanks very much for the invitation, but I can't make it. Break a leg!
S E Hinton: THE OUTSIDERS has been banned at different times and at different places. Teachers tell me that when a parent complains, they ask them to read the book themselves. Afterwards, there are no complaints. I have had a lot of kids write me and say that "after reading your books I realize how stupid violence is." I never have anyone write and say they were inspired to go and beat somebody up.
S E Hinton: I hear from some of the actors once in a while. I was very good friends with all of them. I feel that I should thank them. Not only were they very good actors, they were good kids. And a pleasure to work with. And while I would like to see any of them again, who I really miss are my brave goofy teens, and I will never see them again.
S E Hinton: I worked on the three movies that Matt was in. I recommended him to Francis Coppola for Dallas, but he would not have been cast if Francis hadn't felt he was right for the role. I think Matt did a great job of seperating each character that he played. Nobody would mistake Tex for Rusty James.
S E Hinton: Rob was sweet and incredibly good-looking. Books and movies are two different things. The fun thing about movies is the collaboration. The fun thing about books is you rule the world.
S E Hinton: I was no straight-A student. If I liked something I did well, if not, not. Basically, a goof-off, I guess. I had mostly great English teachers, who were very encouraging. The year I wrote THE OUTSIDERS I made a D in creative writing. I found out something interesting: Publishers don't count off for spelling and neatness.
S E Hinton: That is an old photo. The Keeshond was named Bowser, the poodle Mop, the pug, Pug. My creativity ends in my books! All dogs go to heaven. I now have an Aussie shepherd, who is the heroine of my latest book, THE PUPPY SISTER. Also, two cats, and three horses.
S E Hinton: I began THE OUTSIDERS in 1964 and did most of the work in 1965. It was sold in 1966 and published the next year. Fast!
S E Hinton: I don't know, you need to ask a studio! (I have a screenplay.)
S E Hinton: WRITER'S MARKET, a book, and Writer's Digest, a magazine, have a lot of practical tips on getting published. Good Luck!
S E Hinton: Actually, the initials were my publisher's idea. They didn't want the first reviewers to read it with a bias. Afterwards it wasn't any big secret. (The reviewers were fooled.) I know I am convincing as a male narrator because I still get letters from boys addressed to Mr. Hinton.
S E Hinton: I loved horse books. I read Will James, the cowboy books, a lot. Some of my favorites: Shirley Jackson, Mary Renault, are still on my top five. Nowadays, I love Jane Austen (and did before she was cool), Fitzgerald, and I read alot of nonfiction.
S E Hinton: I think both "Tex" and "Rumble Fish," in their very different ways, capture the spirit of each book. I was disappointed in the editing of "The Outsiders," because we shot the whole book. We will never put that cast together, again! And I expected that Hollywood couldn't take the strong ending of "That Was Then." However, it had some good parts in it.
S E Hinton: TEX is my favorite. I really have to become my narrator, and Tex was a good person to be. He is the least tough, but strongest of my narrators. It was nice to have that generous heart.
S E Hinton: Besides being a writer, I'm a wife, a mom, a friend, a pretty good horseback rider. To use the phrase, "I've got a life." I really just like to write when I feel I have something to say.
S E Hinton: You might try Gary Paulsen. He does really good nature books, but suspenseful.
S E Hinton: 1) I have written five young-adult novels, one picture book, and a middle grade book. I've worked on six screenplays, and one TV series, and a couple of commercials. 2) I was 18 when THE OUTSIDERS was published. 3) Yes. I think drugs and gangs are a bigger problem. Being a teen is problem enough.
S E Hinton: Nick is not too impressed with his old mom. He had to read THE OUTSIDERS in English class, last year. His comment to me was "It's not bad, Mom, but you're no Tolkien."
S E Hinton: Not so much a rebel as perceptive. I always seemed to see why people were doing things as well as what they were doing. I've always been a watcher. Still, a lot of times, what people do seems silly to me.
S E Hinton: I was very focused when I was young. I have more interests now, but I feel writing about what I did at the time I did gives (especially THE OUTSIDERS) my work its immediacy.
S E Hinton: Not really. As far as the groups go, the names change, the uniforms change, the groups go on forever.
S E Hinton: I am very happy I wrote THE OUTSIDERS. A lot of kids who thought they didn't like to read learned that they did like to read. I'd never change that. THE OUTSIDERS wasn't an overnight success; it built slowly over the years. I can still live a private life.
S E Hinton: Thanks for all your great questions. To those of you who want to write, read read read! And the rest of you, the same.
Posted May 11, 2003
I thought this was a great book. There was alot of action in it. I liked it because it is something that I have almost experienced in a sense. I really recamend this book for middle school readers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 23, 2003
Posted December 14, 2002
Sure, this book was good, i am a grade 8 student and we are doing a Report on it. Sure its good, but just not what i like... All you 8th grade 13 year olds out there like me should pick up a good book like something from Stephen King... If you liked the Outsiders then you'll love anything by Stephen King.. i have been reading his books since i was in Grade5... One bad thing about this book at least, and that it is the fact that they dont mention what the characters are saying when they swear, which is pointless in my opinion, because all 8th graders have heard em all before by the time they r in grade 8 eh?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 9, 2002
The Outsiders is the best book I have ever read. On a scale of 1-10 its an 18. I have never cried so much while reading a book and the characters have never seemed so real. I actually felt like I could go out and meet the characters and I felt like I was right there with them in all of the action. If you have not read this book.... READ IT! you'll be so gald you did.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 6, 2002
The Outsiders made me really think about how hard things get and that when you think you have it hard to take a look at what others have...this book made me do that and it made me think about how people treat other people just because they are different...this book teaches not only to look at things but it teaches not to hate. I liked this book very much and i think that there is something in it everyone could learn something from. Read it...it is the best book i've ever read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 2, 2001
~*~I really loved this book! I have read it 4 times already. I am in grade 8 and I am reading this for my English class. I was the first one to finish it. It's one of those books that is just impossible to put down! It is the best book I have read in all my life! I would recommend it to anyone and everyone!The movie was okay, But the book was excellent! The movie skipped alot of the good parts. I think that S.E. Hinton did a really great job on this book, I loved it! It's filled with tension and drama. If I could put more than five stars on there, I would put one million! This book caught my attention from the first chapter! I couldn't put it down! Usually with books, I just get bored after the first chapter, I'm one of those people who rarely finish a book if the first chapter is boring.~*~Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.