Author Julie Beck defends the reading of Young Adult literature by adults by stating that in reading YA, readers are reminded of “elemental truths” that adults first encounter as teenagers but have forgotten as adults. Reading YA reminds adult readers of their capacity for change by highlighting where they were as teenagers versus where they are as adults.
In this interview, Hinton discusses her writing process while she was writing The Outsiders as well as the legacy of novel and her literary influences.
Writer Ruth Graham argues that YA literature, while important for young adults and pre-teens, should be reserved for those age groups rather than appropriated by adults. She believes adults who read YA are denying themselves the joys of the complexity that is to be found in adult literature.
This article by Hayley Krischer examines the enduring legacy of The Outsiders 50 years after it was published. It examines the ways in which the novel is appropriated by its readers through fan fiction and fan engagement with S.E. Hinton herself on social media.
This article looks at the way Hinton’s novel shaped, or even invented, the YA genre by comparing it to the books that came before The Outsiders. Michaud also touches on the debate that asks whether adults should read YA literature.
This article gives an overview of the various literary and cinematic influences in The Outsiders, including The Catcher in The Rye, West Side Story, and the work of Shirley Jackson.
Beverly Yuen Thompson looks at the way the novel and the movie versions of The Outsiders depict boundaries and divisions between rich and poor. She also reminds us how different The Outsiders’s version of 1960’s America was from many of the TV shows on the air at the time, such as Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley.
This podcast discusses the lasting effects of The Outsiders novel and the movie adaptation on Hinton and her readers. It also examines the effect the book had on representations of young adulthood and how the book has been appropriated by other groups of self-described “outsiders.”