#8 The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (1967)
[536 points – 12 #1s, 11 #2s, 11 #3s, 7 #4s, 9 #5s, 9 #6s, 8 #7s, 5 #8s, 8 #9s, 18 #10s]
“From the Capulets and the Montagues to the Bloods and the Crips, rivalling factions will always have a place in society. Experiencing them through literature in this fabulously written story, is as close as most of us will ever want to come. This draws readers, particularly reluctant boys, in like no other book in my library collection. For that reason alone, I would have included it, but I do love it, too." Erin Fitzpatrick-Bjorn, librarian.
“A seminal YA novel. It is easy to forget how long ago it was written. One of the first YA novels to have a big impact on me. It remains as fresh and powerful for me today as it did when I first read it as a teenager.” Kevin Lee, reader
“I'd heard about this book for years, but never read it. When I finally picked it up, I thought, it can't be that good. Nothing can be that good. OH BUT IT IS. Bobby and Suzy can just go suck their malts, because this is real life--doing your best with what you've got, which frankly ain't much, and navigating the unholy mess that is the adult world, where people hate each other or love each other for the way they comb their hair.” Maureen K, Confessions of a Bibliovore
“It's raw, it's honest- and it was written BY a teen. You don't get more YA than that.” Saundra Mitchell, YA author http://www.saundramitchell.com
“The book that made me want to be a writer.” Margie Stohl, YA author
“This novel was a game-changer, and ushered in a brave new world of what is known today as 'edgy' young adult." Kathy Charles, YA author
“Boys, angst, growing up in a rough environment despite not being rough yourself. This book just pains me for all the bright, young men whose lives can be destroyed by a single night, single act of violence. Despite all that there are ways of trying to keeps yourself positive and childlike for a little bit longer.” Vassiliki Veros, librarian.
“Though it is older, Ponyboy's strife still rings true. " Melanie Shoemake, reader.
According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser. SEHinton.comAs Saundra Mitchell mentioned, SE Hinton was a teenager when she wrote The Outsiders in 1967. Aged fifteen, Susan started working on a story that would represent her world and taught herself to type as she went as she couldn’t read her own handwriting. Forty years after first being published, The Outsiders still sells more than 500,000 copies a year (more than thirteen million copies since 1967) and is taught in hundreds of thousands of English classrooms worldwide. Hinton was awards the New York Herald Tribune Best Teenage Books List, Chicago Tribune Book World Spring Book Festival Honor Book, ALA Best Young Adult Books (1975) and the Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (1979). Not bad for a book that Hinton describes as “melodramatic.”