The Outsiders are IN!

When I visited the Festival of Books a couple of weeks ago, I picked up The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton for my almost-eleven-year-old-son. As some of you may recall, he is not a reader and constantly fights with me over books and reading. To him, reading is boring. He often considers it punishment which is a bit of a stretch but I guess if you really don’t enjoy doing something and your mom makes you do it anyway… I digress.

Do you remember reading The Outsiders? We took turns reading it in my junior high English class and then we saw the movie when it came out. I fell in love with Ponyboy who was played by C. Thomas Howell. Actually, I fell in love with a lot of the characters and the movie had a star-studded cast (Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Ralph Macchio, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, Leif Garrett, and Diane Lane). As far as adaptations go, I felt this was a pretty good one. Francis Ford Coppola directed and I remember sleeping with the movie posters plastered all over my room.

So as I stood in the FOB tent pondering the purchase, I decided to give it a shot. I bought it with the hopes that it would strike a chord with my son. This book was written over 40 years ago. Can you believe that? Anyway, I handed it over to him, he smirked, said “thank you” and tossed it into his backpack.

The other night he came up to me, sat on the couch and in his “cool kid” way said that he likes the book…a lot and that he wants to read more books like it. He has been talking about the book to his friends too. I told him about the movie and we both got online to look up all the other books that S.E. Hinton has written and he was thrilled to know that there are several more out there. All this time I have been handing him adventures, fantasies and humorous books that are quick reads but sort of fun and it turns out he likes the deeper stuff.

So after all these years, The Outsiders are IN! For more information on S.E. Hinton, check out her website and this post by Jill over at Fizzy Thoughts. Jill attended the S.E. Hinton discussion at the Festival of Books and now in hindsight, I wish I had attended that one myself.

If you’ve never read the book, try it out and definitely see the movie afterward. My son and I plan to have a movie night and I will post his thoughts after the viewing. If you happen to know of additional books that are similar in style or theme, I would love to hear about them.

18 thoughts on “The Outsiders are IN!”

  1. Spacing looks ok!

    I don’t think your son hates to read as much as you think- Did you have to take it out of his backpack and force it on him or did he pick it up and give it a shot on his own? I’m glad you’ve found his niche though, hopefully you can find a lot more. There are TONS of YA blogs out there, I’m sure some of them could offer more suggestions.

  2. Lisa, he took it out for his 30 min required reading. It’s part of his homework. He has been known to sneak books in that he has already read for this so I was glad he actually opened it and read it.

  3. How wonderful! I’m sure you were thrilled to find a book like that for your son. I remember reading everything by S. E. Hinton that I could get my hands on.

  4. That’s wonderful Ti!! It’s great that you’ve hit on a genre/style that your son likes. I’ve never read The Outsiders, I’m going to have to add it to the list. I’m not sure that my 10 year old would be interested in this yet. I’ll keep it in mind for summer reading.

  5. I read The Outsiders over and over and over…

    I’m so glad you found a book your son connected with – so thrilling!

  6. I loved both the book and the movie. I’m so glad that another generation is embracing the story, too. Your son is too cool for school, by the way. 🙂

  7. I loved The Outsiders! And like you, I had a crush on several of the cast members. It’s wonderful that your son is the book! I guess he’s more like you than you thought, as far as book choice. I hope his interest in books continues to grow!

    P.S. Blogger spacing drives me insane at times. Ugh!

  8. I loved the Outsiders! I read the book (all of S.E. Hinton’s books, but Outsiders was my favourite) before the movie came out, and even without the movie, I was head over heels in love with Ponyboy. It’s great that your son loved it, too!

  9. I remember reading The Outsiders and watching the movie in seventh grade English. I haven’t read it since then. I’m sure I’d get a lot more out of it now.

  10. I adored the Outsiders. I never got around to reading any of SE Hinton’s other works, I just read and reread The Outsiders until my copy fell apart…

  11. A great book! I read it when I was a kid, and then it showed up on my son’s reading list for school last summer, and I was so excited! My son likes to read, but the books really have to grab his attention or he’ll turn to video-style entertainment–I think he liked The Outsiders because of the mature themes 🙂

    Your son is adorable, by the way!

  12. You gotta love those lightbulb moments! I have a son like this–he does enjoy reading but has a hard time figuring out what he likes–I have found he likes what I call *high* fantasy like Harry Potter and I assumed he would like most all fantasy–but not so. Turns out he likes some meatier stuff too! I am thinking both my boths might like this one–and *blush*-I didn’t know that movie ws based on a book! Maybe we will read it together and then have a movie night at our house too. 🙂
    Have a great Friday Ti

  13. Oh Ti this is awesome. I remember these such moments for both of my kids.

    I loved the Outsiders with an Obsession.. and the other books as well. Big S.E. Hinton fan, I know that was on of the books that got me really hooked on reading.

    I loved the Outsiders, the movie. I own it actually. 🙂

    Great post. Gosh that picture is GREAT!

  14. never know! I think it would make a great summer read.

    All…thanks for all the comments. It just feels good to finally see the “spark”.

  15. I love this post! I’m so happy that this book struck a chord with your son. It was so touching to see just how powerful this book still is. 🙂 Great mom, you are!

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