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I would tell someone that the S. E. Hinton novel has people they know in it. Everybody knows the guy or girl who sacrifices personal gain to take care of things simply because it's the right thing to do. Everybody knows that joker kid who when things get tough will buckle down and do what's expected of him. It doesn't matter who you are, you will recoginze someone you know in the novel.
S. E. Hinton's classic novel of youth angst is set in Tulsa in the late 60's, but continues to appeal to young adults today, because the themes of social ostracism and isolation, cliques and gang warfare still resonate with young people today. The conflicts between Ponyboy and his oldest brother and the greasers versus the socs are like conflicts American teenagers face every day on the streets and in America's schools. I've taught this novel in middle school classes for years, and I'm always amazed at how much the kids like the novel--they always immediately gravitate to the themes despite the differences in clothing, hair style, and slang presented in this time period.
If she or he likes action say the book is action packed. There is also a little romance in it.
Do you like fighting? Boys having heart to heart conversations? People (unfortuanetly) dieing. I love this book, my favorite line in all honesty is when Dally says to Pony; "Hey Blondie *laughs* wake up!" Or when pony asks who wrote the letter Soda sent him "The President of The united STATES!" "No kidding?" Lol! I write a-lot of Fan-fiction on The Outsiders; I love it!
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