Can sincerity overcome clichés? In ["The Outsiders"], by a now 17-year-old author, it almost does the trick. By almost any standard, Miss Hinton's performance is impressive. At an age when most youngsters are still writing 300-word compositions, she has produced a book alive with the fresh dialogue of her contemporaries, and has wound around it a story that captures, in vivid patches at least, a rather unnerving slice of teen-age America.
"The Outsiders" is told in the first person by 14-year-old Ponyboy Curtis—a "greaser" or lower class kid who...
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