Amanda's Reviews > The Outsiders

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
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's review
Jul 11, 2010

Read in May, 2010

Snapshot: I'd forgotten how much I love this book until I reread it this year. The Outsiders is a story of the Greasers, a working-class group of boys trying to survive against the rival gang, the Soc's. The book focuses on Ponyboy, his two older brothers, and his best friends as he learns to deal with the loss of his parents, young love, and the violence always lurking around the corner.

Hook: This is an exciting coming-of-age story with an attractive main character. It's mostly a story of friendship and rooting for the underdog who always gets dealt a raw deal. But there is also lots of action: rumbles, weapons, and running away. Both boys and girls identify with the characters, and the theme of family is a strong one.

Challenges: Historical context. There is a certain amount of '60s pop-culture language and slang that take getting used to. Also, there are a lot of characters to keep track of, especially in the beginning. I think this text would work best as a class text or literary circle text, in which students are able to discuss with one another as they read.

Students in mind: My ESL 2 class, who for the most part loved this book. A good book for all reading levels from advance beginner upward and for boys or girls.

Level: Upper middle-high school and up. Advance Beginner ELD level and up.

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