RAM Readers Spring 2020 discussion

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The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (drld) | 24 comments Mod
Still relevant today.


message 2: by Yao (new)

Yao Chen | 49 comments • Hinton wrote The Outsiders when she was 16 years old. Partly because she loved of writing, partly because she could not find a book describing the reality of teenagers. Why this book is still popular because the emotions of being a teenager do not change. The feelings are the same, which do not disappear as the time went by. I am certainly not a teenager anymore, but Ponyboy will be one forever. The book will hold the connection among a certain group of people all the time.
• Ponyboy is 14 years old. He lost his parents but has two older brothers, Darry and Sodapop who are under 20 and work really hard to support the family. Ponyboy likes movies and books. He gets good grades at school and has a high IQ. He is not like most of his gang. They call people from rich family and the west side of town “the socs”. The socs look down on at them and named them “the greasers”. Ponyboy’s gang smoke, steal, fight, get drunk, break laws, say something dirty, catch by cops and talk about girls. They were not born to be bad people, but they have to be tough and hard to protect themselves. I am not saying they should go jumping others when they are bullied. I know it is very sad how the world works. Things are rough all over no matter what social classes you belong to. It is just very difficult to inform the outsiders about your circumstances. As a reader, I am also an outsider. When I am reading the book, I feel distant the informal or street language they use. I did not grow up in this situation. Did I meet someone like them when I was young? Haven’t I judged teenagers like them? if I were them, what would happen? Upon reading, I know better the world I did not understand. (Chapter 2)
• People who are divided into different classes do have a basic sameness. However, a different set of values do exist. The world is never fair even for teenagers. It is a great book, but I felt heartbroken while reading more and more. It was very sad, but with a quite sort of sadness on my mind like the saddest music you had never heard before. I am so touched by the love from Ponyboy’s brothers and the relationship among his gang. Teenagers do not show their emotions in the same way. When it comes to the moment, you will feel so moved and be so proud of them. Communication is the way to soften many misunderstandings. When Ponyboy talks to the socs, I realize they are all teenagers having hard time with their lives. This is a remarkable novel and I will definitely read it again. Ponyboy, do not get tough and stay gold!


message 3: by Bruna (new)

Bruna Alcaraz | 41 comments Diary of a Wimpy kid is a fever in my daughter’s school.
The third wheel was my book. Ana and I decided to read this book together. In the first moment, I felt a little bored because the story did not catch my attention. I wasn't concentrating at all. I was reading the book with my adult mind, my daughter still laughing and I ask myself: Why she is laughing? What is so funny?
I changed the bottom on my brain and I decided to read the book again with the eyes of a 9 years old girl/boy. Now everything makes sense. The story of my book is about Valentine’s Day (which is not common in my country), the challenge to invite a girl for a party was the best part of the book. Sometimes I got to read the book myself and thinking about how his mom is acting sometimes the same as me! Now we are reading together another one that’s called the meltdown.
This book is really good to bring the kids the pleasure of reading time. They don’t have to ready just “academic” books, this book is a kind of relax time for their mind.


message 4: by Bruna (new)

Bruna Alcaraz | 41 comments Sorry guys ! I posted wrong spot !
Now is my reflection !


message 5: by Bruna (new)

Bruna Alcaraz | 41 comments I have a lot of comments about this novel.
1) I went to the library to grab this novel and the librarian told me he read this book when he was a teenager because her middle school teacher gave to him an assignment. He was confused about why it still popular nowadays because the scenario changed a lot during the years. He is 68 years old man. I told him we will read to discuss the book in the class and I will keep him update on what we are talking about it.
2) I feel so confused when the beginning of the book the teenagers talk about smoke cigarettes and weed, another guy was drunk, someone fight at school. After all those moments I connect the conversation with the librarian and the book content with the author’s felling. The author wrote a book when he was a teenager, he was feeling and seeing the world with his own emotions. However, the book was written a long time ago but still been a reality for a lot of students.
3) Themes that can be related nowadays: bully, pregnancy, drugs, social relationships, friendship, family relationships, emotions, gangs.
This book is a good start to talk with teenagers about the problems they are having now, we as a human being had a few years ago also. When they have some problem they should find a trustworthy person to talk to and open their mind. Nobody is perfect and everybody makes mistakes. When you are grownups the responsibility is getting bigger and teenagers should start to think about the consequences in their and others' lives.


message 6: by Bruna (new)

Bruna Alcaraz | 41 comments Yao..
I like your reflection when you say ... the world is not fair even for teenagers because teenagers need to understand behind their feelings it is a whole world waiting for them decided what they want to do to with their lives. In my case, as a teenager I lost a lot of time crying because a hundred BIG problems ( which are insignificant for now), all the time that I lost I can’t return and fixed. I should to enjoyed more the little moments and do not worry about little things.
I feel in society, teenagers have a lot of pressure behind them. Let’s the teenagers being teenagers and do not little adults with real responsibilities.


message 7: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Thomas | 46 comments I am pretty familiar with The Outsiders; I read it in middle school, and I've seen the movie many times. Is this book still relevant today? I'd say 'yes' and 'no'. The themes in this book are certainly relevant today. There are still gangs (although they are remarkably different than the ones in the book), teens still fight to solve problems, there still exists inequalities between the socioeconomic classes, and the human need and want to be accepted and understood will never go away.
Gangs are still a problem in our schools, although they've morphed from the 'greasers'-style (semi-violent) into incredibly violent. I always felt that the greasers resembled more of the troubled youth, than an actual gang. But, as I mentioned before, teens still turn to fighting to solve most problems. In the novel, the Greasers and the Socs never sat down to get to know one another, or to actually sort out their problems without violence. A "Rumble" solved it all. That's a very teenager way of thinking.
Also, there still exists tensions between the different socioeconomic classes. The poor and rich still do not fully trust one another, or even "mingle' together. So, that thematic element still holds true.
Now, I said 'no' about its relevancy because the book was written almost 40 years ago, so the language and situations are not relatable. The way these 'gang members' talk is almost comedic; they use vernacular that was typical for the '60s, but is vastly different than the way our current teenagers speak. Because of this generational difference, I could see a teenager focusing more on the "silly" language than the actual important themes. I know as adults, we have the ability to look past the outdated language to see the "meat" of the novel, but teenagers can lose interest in a novel if they can't seem to relate.


message 8: by ThaoTam (new)

ThaoTam  Nguyen  | 46 comments The outsiders by S.E.Hinton
The outsiders is a story about boy- teenagers. They are Ponyboy, Darry, Johnny, Dally. The story begins with Ponyboy walking home from the movies and then he and his friend get in trouble with a group of Socs. There are violent and some people died. And after all, it gives teenagers an important lesson: “ the thing they want to do can be have the bad result and it can be make them regret about that”
One of the attractive factors in this story is it tells readers the real life and the thinking of teenagers. They always want to show up they are already grown up, they just want do whatever they want: violent, smoke, get drank, break the law, say bad words… and sometimes, they study lessons that they never forget in their life. And the story also give the readers a message: teenagers are obstinate but inside they always want to make the good things. The story not only show up the teenagers life, but also help parents more understanding about their children from that they have the best way to teach them.
I read this story before I read the information about the author. I am really surprised that S.E. Hinton is a teenager girl, and she wrote this story when she was sixteen years old. But this is the reason why the story can describe truly and closely to teenagers. And this is a story by teenager, it says what teenagers want to say that why it is relevant until now


message 9: by Lourdes (new)

Lourdes A. | 49 comments Even though The Outsiders book was written a long time ago, it seems that some aspects of our society have not changed much. The privileged classes tend to oppress and take advantage of the minority classes, and people are judged for what they have, where they come from, their race, beliefs, or even the way they like to dress up.
Be frank with you, I did not enjoy this book in the beginning, mainly because I did not understand well some expressions. However, in the middle of the reading, I felt amazed by the realistic way the author describes the family struggles and relationship conflicts. It seems very real, sad, and unfair the way those adolescents lived. Then, I realized how beautiful the author describes friendship, loyalty, and not judging people before getting to know them.
Although I do not appreciate the kind of vocabulary used in this writing, I understand that it is part of the environment that the main character Ponyboy and their brothers lived. Teachers must be aware that students use diverse language expressions and different ways to communicate. Educators should be able to understand, support, and help them to achieve their goals and their place in society.
I finished my reading last night with tears in my eyes and thinking that we all need to find effective ways to make a difference in the students´ life, to help them to become better people because we never know what is behind their behaves.


message 10: by Lourdes (new)

Lourdes A. | 49 comments Bruna wrote: "Themes that can be related nowadays: bully, pregnancy, drugs, social relationships, friendship, family relationships, emotions, gangs.
This book is a good start to talk with teenagers about the problems they are having....."

Bruna,
I agree with you that this book can help teenagers understand that issues they might be facing, such as drugs, social and family relationships, emotions, gangs, bullying etc, are not different from the past, and they are able to overcome their problems as Ponyboy in the end of the book.



message 11: by Yao (new)

Yao Chen | 49 comments Natalie wrote: "I am pretty familiar with The Outsiders; I read it in middle school, and I've seen the movie many times. Is this book still relevant today? I'd say 'yes' and 'no'. The themes in this book are certa..."

Hi Natalie,

Thank you for your explanations of your answer of "yes" and "no". I wasn't born and raised in America so I had different kinds of concerns as a teenager. But I think teens fight to solve problems are very common. It is not so easy for us adults understanding the teens' ways of living sometimes.

Yao


message 12: by Yao (new)

Yao Chen | 49 comments Lourdes wrote: "Even though The Outsiders book was written a long time ago, it seems that some aspects of our society have not changed much. The privileged classes tend to oppress and take advantage of the minorit..."

Hi Lou,

Good job! I like how you connect the reading with educational issues. Yes, I totally understand what you think about the vocabulary using, but that's the way some teenagers are talking and living in the author's time. The society is not going to be perfect but we can all make it better and better.

Yao


message 13: by Bruna (new)

Bruna Alcaraz | 41 comments Hi Lourdes
Your comments were very helpful, and as you said as educators we always need to find a way to help the teenagers.
We don’t understand so much about their world and crazy ideas but as educators, we are responsible to give them a hand, a word, and a Smile. They have feelings and those feelings are coming inside their mind without nobody to help them to understand and share their thoughts. Sometimes they need just to talk to someone who will not criticize or always saying they are wrong in their decision.


message 14: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Thomas | 46 comments Yao wrote: "• Hinton wrote The Outsiders when she was 16 years old. Partly because she loved of writing, partly because she could not find a book describing the reality of teenagers. Why this book is still pop..."

Yao: I think you are spot-on when you mention that people from different economic backgrounds do have a basic sameness. I think this is the true message of the story: that, despite your socioeconomic status, we all face the same issues to varying degrees. Both the Greasers and the Socs were begging for guidance, acceptance, and worth. The Greasers found these things within their tight-knit community of friends; the Socs seemed to find these things through money. The rich and the poor all have their own crosses to bear; they might not look the same, but they all must come to terms with them in their own way.


message 15: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Thomas | 46 comments Lourdes wrote: "Even though The Outsiders book was written a long time ago, it seems that some aspects of our society have not changed much. The privileged classes tend to oppress and take advantage of the minorit..."

Lourdes: The vocabulary in this novel was a challenge for me, as well. As I mentioned in my post, this novel was written almost 40 years ago, so the phrases used by the characters are incredibly outdated. There are a lot of "gollys" and "Gee whizzes" used by the Greasers, which seems incredibly silly to me since they are characterized as gang members. I can't imagine any modern-day gang member ever saying, "golly"! I know this sounds funny, but it could definitely pose a problem for teenagers who cannot relate to this way of speaking. This novel has some really great themes to study, but I fear that the phrases and vocabulary would stop most teenagers from being interested. The important messages would be lost.


message 16: by Lourdes (new)

Lourdes A. | 49 comments ThaoTam wrote: "One of the attractive factors in this story is it tells readers the real life and the thinking of teenagers."

Hi Thao,
That is true! The author did a good job describing the characters and the conflicts they were experiencing. I could imagine the hard life and suffering of these teenagers when they lost their parents. This kind of reading makes people reflect on the true values of life.

Lou.



message 17: by Diana (last edited Feb 05, 2020 06:39PM) (new)

Diana | 31 comments When I begin to read this book it was hard for me to really find interest in it, just because the word Greaser remind me of Grease the musical. I have never read this book before or seen the movie. But the more I read the book, it reminded me of Freedom Writers. Gangs, family issues, drugs, and doing the right thing. I feel like this book is relatable because the social classes, dilemma of doing the right thing and finding who you are. I think this is a great book for kids to read just because Ponyboy struggles to find who he is, what is his identity. He is scared to be as own person and letting down his family but tries to fix in, when everyone knows he is better than a Greaser. Towards the end of the book I can feel Ponyboy pain within myself and I found hard to put down the book.


message 18: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Olalde | 44 comments The Outsiders

I was pleasantly surprised by reading this book. I hadn't expected to enjoy it. I knew that it was an older book, and I worried that I wouldn't find it relevant to what the world is like today. There are many aspects of the novel that can apply to the teenage dynamic we see today. There are some interesting themes throughout the story, like gang violence, divisions in social class, and loyalty.
In the novel, there are significant differences between the Greasers and the Socs. I think it interesting to see how some of the characters can see beyond the labels that they are "born" with but still refuse to be friends. Ponyboy Curtis and Cherry Valance begin to talk and realize that there are many things that they have in common, yet their class is so profoundly instilled in them that they refuse to be seen together. In today's world, I believe that society has evolved some, and there is less emphasis on the social divisions, but we still have them. Teenagers often stay with their group or cliche.
Gang violence is a topic that remains relevant today. Teenagers find that a fight is a solution to any conflict that they might have. I do think that there is less gang violence now that what we see in the novel. I believe that it is an excellent way for teenagers to learn about how there are consequences for our actions, and we should stop and think about them before we do something that we might regret.
Loyalty is a strong theme in the novel. The greasers are loyal to themselves just as much as the socs are. I think that that is something that has changed. If you listen to teenagers today, you'll see how quickly they will switch sides and join another group of friends.


message 19: by ThaoTam (new)

ThaoTam  Nguyen  | 46 comments Bruna wrote: "I have a lot of comments about this novel.
1) I went to the library to grab this novel and the librarian told me he read this book when he was a teenager because her middle school teacher gave to h..."


Hi Bruna!
I agree with you in number three. it shows up what is teenagers think and their life. And this book also a good recommendation for Parents who need to understand their kids


message 20: by ThaoTam (new)

ThaoTam  Nguyen  | 46 comments Lourdes wrote: "Even though The Outsiders book was written a long time ago, it seems that some aspects of our society have not changed much. The privileged classes tend to oppress and take advantage of the minorit..."

Hi Lourdes!
i like the wayt you think about the book. Actually, teenagers are obstinat, but it we listen to them, understand them, they will trust us and they will listen to our advise. So, teachers and parents are very important role to guide them, show them what is the right way


message 21: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Olalde | 44 comments Hi Isaiah,

I want to start by saying that I am sorry for your loss. I think that when you have a closer connection to a story if you experience something similar to what happens in the story. I believe that teenagers can relate to Pony's sense of loss and doubt after the loss of Johnny and Dally, even if their loss is not as permanent as the one we see in the novel. When you have a similar experience, you can picture yourself in the character's shoes and reflect on how you reacted. Did you respond like the character in the novel did, or was your reaction different? These types of connections and reflections help teens have a more profound interaction with a book.


message 22: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Olalde | 44 comments Hi Thao,

I didn't realize this, but I think the fact that the author was young when she wrote the book does add an element to the teenage perspective. I believe that teens today can still relate to some of the things that the characters say, and I am sure that teens during the time of the release of the book certainly would have. I think another point you mentioned was about the parents and how it could help them understand their children. I agree. Sometimes parents feel disconnected from their teens, and reading about issues that they deal with would help them.


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