That Was Then, This Is Now Topics for Further Study
by S. E. Hinton

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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

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The Vietnam War influenced the lives of many young American men who were called upon to fight in a war in which many did not believe. Research the political and social climate in America during this time period and write a journal entry from the point of view of a young man who has just been drafted.

Hinton was a teenager when she published her first young adult novel, which she hoped would resonate with other teens who had similar experiences. Write a one-page synopsis for a young adult novel based on observations you have made about your high school or other teenage experiences.

Although the majority of reviewers credit Hinton with creating realistic tales, some maintain that teen life in the 1960s, even in gangs, was not as bad as the author’s depictions. Research gangs and gang life during the 1960s and discuss how the actual history of the time period compares to Hinton’s depictions.

In the story, the narrator, Bryon, turns in his foster brother to the police and, as a result, loses the ability to care about anyone. Study current psychological research that addresses instances in which people experience loss of emotions. Using your research to support your claims, give a diagnosis of what you think happened to Bryon.

Study the current methods that the government and public service organizations are using to fight drug distribution and use. How have these methods been effective? How have they failed? Propose your own idea for how to fight the war on drugs.