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Banned Book Review: The Outsiders

December 21, 2005

43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Reason: “drug and alcohol abuse was common” in the novels and “virtually all the characters were from broken homes.”

Except for the half of the characters who… weren’t.  Because that’s what The Outsiders is really about.  Being from the half of the world who isn’t rich and privileged.  S.E. Hinton was 16 years old when she wrote this novel, and her connection with her characters bleeds through on every page.  Each character is richly written, flaws and all.  No one character in this novel is the “good guy” and though the “bad guys” begin as flat and lifeless, it reveals itself to be all in the mind of the main character who finds his perceptions of the “bad guys” challenged throughout the novel.  Though the major characters may come from broken homes, they are still heroes at heart and the friendship of the young men on the “outside” is beautiful to see.  Some of the language may feel dated, but the story is still applicable to today’s youth and well worth the read.

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