The iconic YA novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is turning 50 this year! Hinton began writing the novel while she was still in High School. The novel has always been a point of controversy over the years for its portrayal of gang violence but it has always remained a staple in the YA universe. At the time it was published the idea of books being written specifically for and about young adults was a new idea.
Rolling Stone Magazine published a story on the novel entitled “Why The Outsiders Still Matters 50 Years Later” about the cultural significance of the story. Click the photo to read the article!
Have you read The Outsiders?
If you visit the Publishers Weekly web site make sure not to miss the PW Weekly Kids Cast. Each week, children’s authors and publishers’ interviews are released. PW invites listeners to hear interviews with such notable people as Jerry Spinelli, Ann Martin, Ben Hatke, Nick Bruel, David Shannon, Kwame Alexander, Rick Riordan, Brian Selznick, R. L. Stine, and James Patterson. These 10/15 minute interviews allow fans of children’s books to hear favorite authors and get a peek inside what’s trending in the field. Make sure you check it out!
This debut novel by Emily Robbins describes the story of love. Bea is an America student who has travelled to Syria to study the language and to read “the astonishing text”, an ancient manuscript that is said to cause tears in the eyes of its reader. However, a real-life love story takes place right before her eyes: Nisrine, the maid in the house where Bea is living, falls in love with the policeman guarding the building next door, the very same man that Bea has had her eye on. The novel has myriad themes besides love; it also contains issues such as oppression of women, war, revolution, but also kindness and the importance of family and culture. The lyrical prose is a pleasure to read, and it gives important insights into a different culture.
I recently read The Daily Show anchor Trevor Noah’s memoir Born a Crime about his upbringing in South Africa and I would HIGHLY recommend it!
I went into it expecting it to be laugh out loud hilarious but was pleasantly surprised to be far more interested in his compelling stories. Noah was born towards the end of Apartheid but his experiences as a mixed-race person are fascinating. As someone whose knowledge of racial relations in South Africa pretty much end with the fact that -yes, Apartheid has ended- I found the nuances of the state of racial prejudice there to be illuminating.
Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty.
The man we see today who is handsome, intelligent, and full of wit is only more appealing once reading about his rough upbringing. EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!
It is National Poetry Month and yes, even in YA land we are acknowledging it! I recently read Bull by David Elliott which is a re-imagining of the timeless story of Theseus and the Minotaur for a new generation. Oh, and it is written in verse. Do not let this scare you! The story is hilarious, bawdy, and filled with the drama that we knows and love from classic Greek myths.
For people who are weary readers, novels written in verse are a great option because they are short (I read this book in about an hour – but that is also because it was so funny that I couldn’t put it down). So give it a try!