I would be shocked if there is anybody over the age of eleven who does not understand the reference “stay gold”. On Sunday the girl and I were walking through Barnes and Noble. I had a coupon to possibly use and I like to get the big city paper there because the coupons are usually intact. We hadn’t found anything and were on our way to the register when I spotted this book. It is a sparkly new platinum copy of The Outsiders, with a beautiful letter from S.E. Hinton in the front.
I have purchased this book more than once in my lifetime but this one is just for me. I have the well worn copy that the kids read if anyone ever needs to borrow it. I should say that the girl read….the boy couldn’t get past the fact that there was a boy named Ponyboy with a brother named Sodapop. I knew he would never read it, he is stubborn that way, so I let him watch the movie. This was the first book that the girl “got it” when she was reading. She said “Soda sounds hot”, I was so excited that she was getting it and I’m pretty sure that I told everyone I knew. I read it again when the kids did and I look forward to reading it with my cousins little girls and whoever else comes along…..I have lots of cousins.
I read this book for the first time when I was in 6th grade. I had always been a reader but this book was different. This is the first book that I loved. I seriously read it fifty times or more between 6th and 8th grade maybe even more. I used to be able to recite paragraphs from the book. When the boy picked up the book for the first time I told him “open it to the first page”, he did and I said “As I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had two things on my mind. Paul Newman and a ride home.” Then I told him to flip to the last page and recited it again. He just gawked at me and said “okay now you’re creeping me out.”
My best friend growing up and I used to act out scenes from the book in the back yard. The way kids used to amuse themselves before 2.3 million channels and countless video games. It became a movie not long after that. It didn’t matter that I cried every time I read it, and cried every time I watched it, I loved it.
My favorite book on the big screen brought articles and posters galore. Now my walls were covered with characters that I had an emotional attachment to, the words had come to life. Let’s be honest Matt Dillon in 1983 was super hot. I never saw Rob Lowe before this movie but he was welcome to step out of a shower with that flimsy towel anytime.
I can’t imagine my life without this book. As far as I’m concerned this book is pure magic and is still in my heart some thirty odd years after I read it the for first time. There aren’t too many books out there that can make that kind of claim.
S.E. Hinton…wherever you are…thank you for giving the world these characters who have become family and will always hold a special place in the hearts of many…..Zia