“The Outsiders” changed my view of the world. Reading the book in seventh grade, I imagined the characters were friends of mine, flawed but loyal; together we navigated the mean streets of the world. And it changed my idea of life’s possibilities. It inspired me to write. Upon finishing the book, I took my first stab at a novel — a few paragraphs, anyway. It was uncannily similar to “The Outsiders,” except the rumbles took place in fields and barnyards, and everyone had hair like the Bay City Rollers.
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of “The Outsiders,” written by a teenage girl in Tulsa named S.E. Hinton. I’ve never forgotten how the book made me feel: like an adult who could handle the hard truth. I still appreciate the respect she had for her readers. Stay gold, Ponyboy.