‘The Outsiders’ will always remain a must read

As I scan my bookshelf for any good reads to make the boring day pass by faster, my hand passes many popular titles: the dreadful Twilight series, The Hunger Games, and the mammoth-sized Harry Potter novels. However, one book I always find myself opening up is The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

The Outsiders is about a group of close friends who live in an impoverished neighborhood, and the discrimination they both face from and  express towards the rich kids in the opposite side of the city. The story is narrated by Ponyboy, who is the protagonist and the youngest member of the group, as he faces  hypocrisy and challenges the fine line between the rich and the poor.

What is so striking about The Outsiders is that it is the type of book that is meant to be read by anyone and everyone. People of all ages and economic backgrounds can relate to Ponyboy’s feelings about how annoying adults can be when it comes to rules and discipline while at the same time being annoyed at the protagonist himself for not understanding the sacrifices that are being made for him to live a comfortable life.

The rich kids are described as outwardly snobby and cold, while the poor kids are seen as dirty troublemakers; however, within the novel, the author shows that people are much deeper than their economic status would make them appear.

The lessons are what I enjoy the most about the novel. First, it defines family as not only those who are related to you by blood, but all those who are willing to be there for you no matter what. Second, the two death scenes that cause me to bawl my eyes out are not only contradictory in the characters they involve, but also in how the characters die: one death is a noble one, and the other one, while not courageous whatsoever, brought more grief to Ponyboy’s group of friends than one could imagine. Finally, the novel teaches the reader not to judge someone by what he or look like on the surface, or by their money either.

I was first introduced to The Outsiders in seventh grade as a reading assignment in Pre-AP literature, and I was shocked at how much of an impact this book had. While it is a short novel for middle school kids, it brings on a mix of so many emotions, all packed into fewer than 200 pages.

When you read this book, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll be infuriated, you’ll be relieved. Most of all, you’ll find The Outsiders enjoyable.