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The Outsiders: 40th Anniversary Edition - S.E. Hinton

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The ink may have been dry for 40 years, but the characters still leap from the page in this platinum edition of "The Outsiders," Tulsan S.E. Hinton's celebrated teen-geared novel.

Sporting the work's original 1967 cover, and metallic lettering and flaps, this attractive anniversary version features:
" a new foreword by Hinton,
" an author interview and
" discussion questions.

Most valuable, however, is what's sandwiched between: a still-compelling story, for adult and young-adult readers alike.

Ponyboy's perspective on the world around him informs this T-town-set coming-of-age tale, which plumbs the violent clash between him and his friends, the "greasers," and the more privileged "Socs." Some of the storytelling might ring melodramatic to adults "? and these "gangs" seem tame by today's standards "? but who cares? Teen readers, who will recognize "greasers" and "Socs" by different names, shouldn't.

The foreword offers appealingly open, if succinct, commentary from Hinton on her take to the overwhelming response to the work, which she began penning when she was 15. Feedback from readers saying, "'The Outsiders' changed my life" "frankly scare" her, she writes. "Who am I to change anyone's life?" she adds. "I guess the best reply is 'It's the book, not the author' and 'It's the message, not the messenger.'"

Of course, a publisher might tell you that the message is still gold, almost a half-century after the novel debuted. But for adults returning to this story "? and first-time readers of it "? for once that's right.

"?Emily Jerman

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