Gang Violence/Realistic Fiction
I’m sure many of you have read this book previously, but for me, this was a first time. And, I know there is a movie, and I plan to see it as well, but as of yet, I have not had the opportunity. One thing I thought was interesting that I found in the back of book in an interview from the author is that her publisher thought that people wouldn’t believe a girl could write this book, which was why it was published under the anonymity of S. E. Hinton. I couldn’t care less whether a book is written be a girl or a boy, and I thought it was a great read.
The novel doesn’t say an exact date in it, but it seems to take place sometime in the 60’s. It was published in 1967, if that is any indication. 14-year-old Ponyboy and his gang are in constant conflict and trouble with the Socs, a rival gang of well-off kids. The Greasers always seem to be on the losing end of the battle, and are the frequent victims of jumpings from the Socs. After a Soc is accidentally killed during a scuffle, Ponyboy finds himself on the run to hide out with just one other member of his gang.
Events lead them on an adventure that eventually returns Ponyboy back home, but now he faces new problems. Will he be able to stay with his two brothers or be sent to a home for orphans? The story reaches a climax when the Greasers and Socs get together for one final winner-take-all rumble. Will Ponyboy stay in the slums and be like the rest of his gang or will he rise above the odds and make something of himself?
I thought that it was really interesting to read about the gang life during this time period, although I’m sure things are very different nowadays. It kind of reminded me of the movie Grease, but without all the singing. Ponyboy got to a point where he could see the Socs’ point-of’-view and it changed the way that he looked at things himself. I think overall it would be appropriate for just about anyone to read, and it has been around for a long time, so it is a well-respected novel.