For this week’s Booklovers Anonymous I share one of my favorite books from my middle school years. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is a coming of age story set in the 1960s. The themes of love, friendship, and fitting in are things all teens can relate to. The story of Dallas, Pony Boy, Johnny, and Sodapop grabs the readers attention and draws them in.
I have my boys read this book when they are in the 8th grade. At that point, they are ready to tackle the subtle and obvious plot points and themes. This book provides all kinds of discussion about topics like social class, boundaries, making right choices, and how, sometimes, the least likely person can be the hero.
Published in 1967, the story of the Socs and the Greasers has been around a long time and there are plenty of resources available for using it in your homeschool.
This PDF has some great activities like making character posters and possible discussion or essay ideas. I love the printables and discussion questions found in these lesson plans. Incorporate the study of music with the story with these ideas from Rockhall. Pearltrees has numerous resources for The Oustiders including charts, study guides, and web-related activities.
Of course, The Outsiders movie is now considered a classic (which makes me feel really old) and I am happy to say it sticks really close to the book. Appropriate for grades 7 and up, watch the movie as a wrap up activity when you finish the book.
While this is a favorite for boys ages 13 and older, plenty of girls (like me) enjoy this story. I also think the broader topics of fitting in and acceptance are especially important ones to talk about with teens today. In the end, the Outsiders was really all about love and acceptance. If you want an exciting story to read with your middle or high school student, definitely give The Outsiders a try!
Do you have any books from your childhood that made an impression on you? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for joining me and be sure to come back next week!