The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Another of my library prompts for the winter reading challenge was a book that was under 200 pages.  Much like the under 100 page challenge, I didn't have an easy time finding a book.  

I decided to try Google with "Books under 200 pages" to see what I could find.  In the midst of a whole lot of books I read or books I didn't want to read, I discovered that The Outsiders is 198 pages.  We happen to own a copy of the book since my son read it a couple of years ago, so I grabbed his copy and sure enough, less than 200 pages.  

Now, how I possibly missed reading The Outsiders as a teen?  I'll never know.  Probably because, by the time I hit high school, I was ensconced in John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell novels thanks to my godmother.  But here I am, reading it a whole lot of years after high school.

Ponyboy's story is one for the ages.  Being raised by his brothers, Darry and Sodapop, and protected by his gang of greaser friends.  The greasers are the lower class kids in town, and at odds with the Socs, their upper class counterpart.  When one of their fights ends tragically, Ponyboy and his friend Johnny must leave to save themselves.

Hinton was a teenager herself when she wrote The Outsiders.  Is it the best writing I've ever read?  No.  But there is something about the story that draws you in and makes you love the characters.  I'm definitely saddened I missed this until age 40-something.