Books That Inspire 2012

The Outsiders
S. E. Hinton

I first read The Outsiders as an eighth grader in 1982 and was instantly hooked. Until that time, I had only read books about dogs, little girls, and Pippi Longstocking. How exciting to read a book about gangs and misunderstood teenagers living in Oklahoma! I never forgot that book, and twenty years later, as a high school English teacher, I introduced Ponyboy and the Greasers to a rowdy group of ninth grade boys in a desperate attempt to find something they would read. And it worked! Set in 1965 and published in 1967, The Outsiders remains as relevant to adolescents today as it was back then. Teens are still labeled, misunderstood, and just searching to make their way in life. Although Frost tells us that "nothing gold can stay," the lessons learned from this book have remained with me for a lifetime.

Holley Brewer
Senior Academic Counselor
University College