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Slow,
Dramatic,
Insightful

10 reviews

The Outsiders
by S. E. Hinton

Published: 2006-04-20
Paperback : 224 pages
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50 years of an iconic classic! This international bestseller and inspiration for a beloved movie is a heroic story of friendship and belonging.

No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he's got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry ...
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Introduction

50 years of an iconic classic! This international bestseller and inspiration for a beloved movie is a heroic story of friendship and belonging.

No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he's got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far.

The Outsiders is a dramatic and enduring work of fiction that laid the groundwork for the YA genre. S. E. Hinton's classic story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society remains as powerful today as it was the day it was first published.

"The Outsiders transformed young-adult fiction from a genre mostly about prom queens, football players and high school crushes to one that portrayed a darker, truer world." —The New York Times

"Taut with tension, filled with drama." —The Chicago Tribune

"[A] classic coming-of-age book." —Philadelphia Daily News

A New York Herald Tribune Best Teenage Book
A Chicago Tribune Book World Spring Book Festival Honor Book
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Winner of the Massachusetts Children's Book Award

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

1. In the author’s note, we learn that bubbe meise means a “grandmother’s tale” or an “old wives’ tale.” How does this inform your understanding of the first section of the novel?

2. Were Rachel’s attempts to end the affair helpful? If you were Aviva’s mother, what would you have done?

3. The book is divided into five sections: Rachel, Jane, Ruby, Embeth, and Aviva. Which character could you relate to the most, and why? In what ways are “Jane” and “Aviva” separate characters?

4. When Rachel tells Embeth about the affair, why do you think Embeth decides not to do anything about it?

5. When two people have a workplace romance, how is it affected by a power imbalance in their positions?

6. What did you make of Franny’s relationship to Jane? Why is Franny so quick to bond with her?

7. What did you make of Ruby’s decision to tell the newspaper who Aviva Grossman is?

8. A parrot appears in Embeth’s section of the novel, and seems to be visible only to her. What do you think El Mete represents?

9. Why didn’t Embeth ever run for office? Compare Embeth and Aviva.

10. Why do you think Embeth protects her husband the congressman from meeting Ruby?

11. Why do you think the author decides to take us back to the beginning of Aviva’s internship in the final section of the book? How does your knowledge of Aviva’s choices affect your empathy for her?

12. Women are 51% of the population, and yet they occupy fewer than 20% of the seats in the House and Senate. Why do you think that is? Is it a matter of desire, or is it borne out of something larger in our society?

13. At the end of the novel, Aviva is asked how she survived the scandal, and she says, “I refused to be shamed” (294). What is the difference between feeling shame and being shamed?

14. Imagine Aviva’s story if it were thirty years-ago, a time before the internet was commonly used. How would Aviva’s story be different if there wasn’t Google?

15. Why do you think Jane decides to run for office even though it means exposing her past and revealing her identity? Do you think Jane wins the election?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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