I'm one of more than a thousand bloggers taking part in the A-Z Blogging challenge this year. The goal is to blog everyday in April - except Sundays. You don't need a theme...but I've got one.
It's called watchYAreading. Each day, I'll blog about a young adult book I have read - and loved (or at least really liked).
I feel as though I've been waiting the whole blog challenge to talk about The Outsiders. Perhaps no other YA novel has had such a tremendous impact on me - personally and professionally.
S.E. Hinton wrote this classic when she was 16. Sixteen! I know there are many talented young writers out there, but I can't even fathom the brilliance that went into this first novel. While there have been many influences throughout my writing career, including a stellar Grade 5 teacher and a star studded list of mentors, Hinton can be credited for catapulting me into action. I read this when I was 12, and thought, "I want to do that!"
I didn't, of course, not at 16...but the book haunts me. In a good way, of course.
As does the movie. I mean, just take a look at this cast.
This "little book that could" launched a crap load of careers - can you name all of the actors above? (And ladies, be honest, which ones did you crush on? Perhaps the easier question might be, which ones DIDN'T you love?)
I loved them all. I still read the book AND watch the movie at least once a year. Sure, there's some cliches - but Hinton wrote with such simple brilliance, it's almost as though she was the original author of them all.
Without question, The Outsiders is my favorite "O" book of all time.
Are ya with me? Tell me about your love affair with the Outsiders and at the end of the month I'll choose three readers to win a copy of SPIRITED, an anthology of haunting YA fiction.