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The novel I read was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. My copy of The Outsiders was published in 1997, but the original was first published in 1967, both by Viking Penguin. S.E. Hinton wrote this novel when she was just sixteen in the 1950?s. The times are different, so some thing were a little confusing, but overall the book was written well.

The story takes place in a city in Oklahoma in the 1950s. The story?s main character is a boy by the name of Ponyboy who is fourteen years old. He is sensitive beneath a tough and confused outer layer. Ponyboy is very smart for being a greaser, he has tuff looking hair, he has a strong build for his age, he?s the youngest in the gang, and he doesn?t like the greasers image. Other main characters include Johnny, Dally, Sodapop, and Darry. Johnny has dark eyes, jet black hair, a slight build, he is tall, quiet, he thinks he?s tough, and he has a bad attitude. Dally had very blond hair which is almost white, he is tough and colder than the rest of the boys, and he has blue eyes. Sodapop is tall, slim, he had long dark hair, girls like him, and he?s simple minded. Darry is the oldest, he?s muscular, he has dark brown hair, he?s rough, he has blue/green eyes, and he is very smart. Both of Ponyboy?s parents die, so his loyalties turn to his brothers and his gang, who are rough boys from the wrong side of the tracks. According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A greaser is someone who always lives on the outside and needs to watch there back. A soc is someone who has money, can get away with about anything, and has a big attitude. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he is proud of that. He is always willing to fight against a gang of socs for the sake of greasers. In one of the fights, his best friend kills a member of a rival gang, a nightmare of violence begins for Ponyboy.

I recommend this novel for a few reasons. I though it gives the reader a good insight into how some people may be living on the streets, and people should be grateful for what they have. The setting is the best that it can be for these characters and this plot. I felt that the characters related to the plot very well also because the characters are very believable, and they make the story feel more real. The novel was hard to relate to in some parts because it was written in the 1950?s, and being read in 1998, but it is still a very well written novel. Students should read this novel not as an assignment, but simply because it is a great novel.


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