Tuesday, April 30, 2013

May 2013: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Discussion Questions:
  1. Did you enjoy the book?  Why or why not?
  2. Did you read this book as a teenager?  If so, did you react differently to it this time around?
  3. The author S.E. Hinton was 16 in 1967 when she wrote The Outsiders. Can you tell that a teenager wrote this book? How? Do you think a talented 16 year old could write a book with similar themes and characters today?
  4. Describe what various groups have in common with the groups at the schools you once attended. Were there conflicts among the groups similar to those in The Outsiders? How did you fit into these groups?
  5. Ponyboy resents that his older brother Darry rides him hard about school, friends and responsibilities. Why is Darry much harder on Pony than on Sodapop? Do you think that Darry’s high expectations for Pony are an expression of love or power?
  6. Cherry, one of the girls in the Socs tells Ponyboy: “We’re sophisticated – cool to the point of not feeling anything.” What do you think of this definition of being “cool”? What is your definition of “cool”? Has it changed from when this book was written?
  7. Why does the Robert Frost line, “Nothing gold can stay” mean so much to Ponyboy? What do you think this line means?
  8. Ponyboy has this insight about the life he has lived: “Sixteen years on the streets and you can learn a lot. Just all the wrong things, not the things you want to learn. Sixteen years on the streets and you see a lot. But all the wrong sights, not the sights you want to see.” What are the things Pony wants to learn and see besides what he has experienced? Are there things in your own life that you still hope to see or experience?
  9. There are no adult main characters in The Outsiders. The teen characters experience passion, love, hate and violence amongst themselves and completely apart from the world of adults. Do you think all teens go through these experiences away from their parents? 
  10. Loyalty and friendship are the glue that binds the characters together. How do the characters show loyalty to their friends? Was this similar to your experience?  Is this different for adults?
  11. Ponyboy’s intelligence and sensitivity shine through all his experiences. What kind of future might he have as an adult? Do you feel hopeful for his future? Why or why not?
  12. Would you like your teens (or someday teens) to read this book?  Why or why not?
(from the  Pierce County Library book club kit)

Menu - Chocolate Cake at the Curtis'

Dessert - chocolate cake!
              ... Ponyboy has favorites between the chocolate cakes that Darry and Soda make.
                  Time to show off your favorite chocolate cake recipe!  Any style goes....

Drinks - including Soda pop and Chocolate Milk - Amanda

REMINDER: we plan to choose books for August to December 2013 at this meeting.  Please take a look at some of the suggestions, maybe add a few suggestions of your own and come prepared to pick books.  If you are unable to make the meeting, feel free to add a comment with your thoughts so we can take that into considerations.  See you all soon!


  1. I'm in and I've got my chocolate cake picked out too!

    PS. I started watching the movie version of the book on youtube the other day. Stick to the book - it's so much better!

  2. Chocolate Cake!! Can't wait, I have my cake picked out:)

  3. Hmm, we're doing August to December 2012 all over again? :P

  4. What?! My 2 favourite (and most important!) food groups - chocolate and cake!! I'm in!! And bringing cake.


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