Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Book Review Wednesday By Kim

The Outsiders
By S.E.Hinton (1967)

Review by Kim

You've got to read this book if for no other reason than there's a character called Sodapop. As a side benefit, if you happen to a 13-year-old girl when you read it, you will then also be able to claim you've fallen in love with a guy called Sodapop, if for no other reason than his name.

Although it's easy enough for a junior high audience to read and understand, I'd never want The Outsiders relegated to the suspect genre of "teen," despite having been written by one. Susan Eloise Hinton began the book at age 15 and published it at age 18, yet used her initials so no one would realize it was written by a female.

The story is gritty and real without being gratuitously emotional. It revolves around two American gangs divided along class lines, but the real stories are with the characters. Tough Dallas, talkative Two-Bit and Johnny, whose eyes, if I'm remembering the line correctly, made him look like a puppy who'd been kicked too many times.

The brother-like relationship the boys all share is profound, and it's nearly impossible not to feel for their sticky, sticky, real-life plights. It's no bouncing-off-the-walls fun fix book, but I genuinely like it and am convinced it belongs on everyone's list of books to read.

And besides, if you don't fall for Sodapop, there's always Ponyboy.

Thanks again, Kim!

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