Ms. Holmes is my dear friend and currently an 8th grade English teacher at a public school in New Jersey. Reading with Ms. Holmes is an occasional series in which I write about my experience reading along with her actual students (and keeping up with the homework too!) in addition to my own thoughts on the book itself.
Have you seen those lists of the most common books read in American high schools? Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Great Gatsby were likely at the top of the list. I’m not here to suggest these aren’t worthy, but rather add a book to the list: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, which should be on middle school curricula everywhere.
Ponyboy is a greaser. He’s not part of a gang, precisely, but a group of young men from the “bad” part of town who look out for each other. The greasers have an ongoing spat with the Socs, the rich boys from the other side of town, who pick on them. When Ponyboy and Johnny get into trouble with the Socs – big trouble – their situation reveals friendships and loyalties, the heart of the novel. Continue reading “Reading with Ms. Holmes: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton”