What are some reasons to recommend The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton?  

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I would recommend S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders for a number of reasons.

For one, it’s simply a very well-written book. It’s an enjoyable read about the life of Greasers and kids in the 1950s and the troubles through which they endured.

Beyond that, it’s a very relevant book. It tackles ideas such as societal pressure, family separation, and social deviance. These characters all have come to a place where they are no longer respectable in society, and their circumstances have forced them to make a choice—succeed or be violent.

Finally, it explores some very deep themes about human nature. This book shows how people will always have a kernel of good in them, in spite of what the world has turned them into. When Johnny and Ponyboy are on the run after the fight, they manage to save a bunch of children from the church fire, showing that they’re not just criminals. They are still good people who have simply made mistakes.

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The characters in S.E. Hinton's classic novel The Outsiders are absolutely remarkable and memorable. Any reader is sure to gravitate to one of S. E. Hinton's memorable characters, who are each unique and intriguing in their own way. Each character is portrayed as vulnerable at some point throughout the story and readers are sure to connect with at least one of the characters on many levels.

The novel is also intense and thrilling. The Outsiders is truly a page-turner, which is full of action, violence, and suspense. Readers are drawn into the hostile atmosphere S.E. Hinton creates and anxiously await the next suspenseful scene. Everything from showdowns, gang fights, and church fires are depicted in the story.

S.E. Hinton's story is also relevant, and many adolescents can relate to the difficulties that both the Greasers and the Socs experience. Whether an adolescent grows up in an affluent home or is raised in poverty, S.E. Hinton offers an authentic depiction of how members of each social group struggle in their own unique way. The story also offers perspective into the lives of the "Outsiders," who are social outcasts and viewed with contempt by their peers. Young readers can gain sympathy for neglected adolescents and realize that they are dealing with much more than just trying to pass their classes or gain popularity. S.E. Hinton's novel challenges readers to not judge others based on their socioeconomic limitations and stereotypes.

S.E. Hinton's story is also an easy read that young audiences will breeze through without struggling to comprehend diction and advanced vocabulary words. Her story is straightforward and easy to understand, which is one of the many reasons it has endured the test of time and is required reading for many middle school students across the country.

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1. Relevance-- Even though The Outsiders was written in the 1960s, the subject of gangs and the need to belong is still relevant today.  Many students can identify with the feeling of being an outsider whether at school, home, or in the community. 

2.  Characters--  The characters in The Outsiders are well-drawn and memorable, and since they are all teenagers, they are easy for students to identify with; their problems are dramatic at times in the story, but they react and deal with them as any regular kid would. 

3.  Suspense-- The Outsiders is a true page-turner, hooking the reader with realistic dialogue and descriptions from the point of view of Ponyboy, the main character.  On the way home from the movie theater, Ponyboy is jumped by a rival gang that pulls a knife on him in the first couple pages of the book.  From that point forward, the action and suspense of the book continues to build, but also focuses on the emotions of the characters at the same time.

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