Book Talk: The Outsiders

8:30:00 PM

Stay gold, Ponyboy...

I was recently reminded by one of my awesome/brilliant/hilarious/troubled students of the value of reading something that you’ve already read. Granted, they did it in the context of getting out of reading a new novel for their assignment, but still. I like to think that there was a small part of them that enjoyed paging back through the book, remembering what it was about those words that resonated with them in the first place.* And when a student tells you they’re going to read The Outsiders, well, you don’t really complain. At least, I don’t.

I couldn’t stop thinking about it after we’d had that conversation. There was something about that student reading that book that I couldn’t get out of my head. And I’m glad, because it inspired me to track down a copy at my used bookstore and get readin’.

It had been years since I laid eyes on the book - I think I was in middle school?! - and other than the basic details, I didn’t remember much about it. But reading it now gave me goosebumps. I had forgotten the clarity of voice in S. E. Hinton’s writing - the way she cuts to the heart of what Ponyboy is thinking and feeling. And I was shocked (and in a way, not shocked at all) by the realization that this novel, written so many years ago, has resonated with every generation since because though the names of the gangs may change, the stories, the struggles, and the situations remain the same.

*let me have my delusions, okay?!

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