The Outsiders by S.E Hinton

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Re: The Outsiders by S.E Hinton

Post by amybo82 » 12 Sep 2014, 13:58

I actually read this book for the first time this summer for a class for my Master's degree in Library and Information Science. I loved it! When I first read the comment that the original poster's daughter was in the fifth grade reading it, I thought "that seems young." However, after reading the other comments and thinking about how I would've reacted to the book at that age, I actually think that it seems like quite an appropriate age. I don't think any of the language is going to be all that new to a child that age. I also think that discussing the book in a controlled classroom setting could help a less mature or younger person better understand it.
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Post by IceSmith » 24 Sep 2014, 09:38

I believe we read it in 6th or 7th grade, I can't remember. 5th does seem a little young, I don't think they will understand some of the subtleties of it. I think there are a lot of themes that just aren't appropriate for 5th graders, (girl/boy relationships, suicide by police, etc) the language would be the least of my worries. Kids now a days hear WAY worse on the playground and school bus.

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Post by Airam Velarde » 26 Sep 2014, 16:49

I read this book with my class when I was in 7th grade. My friends and I really loved it and the teacher even brought the movie for us to watch after we finished reading the book. I know it has some themes that parents may regard as not suitable for their teenagers. However, nowadays teens get exposed to a lot more things from a younger age, so I think they would probably be able to understand the book well.
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Post by jordyn21 » 15 Nov 2014, 23:15

I read this book in 8th grade and fell in love with it! To this day it is the best book that I had to read for school and on my top 10 favorite book list! This book is a must!
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Post by pochnae » 18 Nov 2014, 12:53

I personally think that fifth grade is much too young to read this particular book. I feel as though many potential learning opportunities may be lost on one so young, and the level of enjoyment somebody at such an age may gather from this book is also probably less than that would be if the child was older. I am in eighth grade right now and I read it over the summer, and I personally thought this was a fine age to read. It is true, reading it even later may present certain insights, but a lot of things to be learned from this book will most likely have been learned by than. So I agree some themes are too advanced for anybody short of a genius at that age.

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Post by Dando » 07 Dec 2014, 23:16

I read this book in the 8th grade and it has stuck with me as one of the most impactful books I have read in my lifetime. I think it is a really wonderful novel for middle school students. I must agree with previous posters that the wonderful lessons to be learned in this book may be over the heads of 5th graders. I think the language may cause some giggles, but not much more. It is a shame that these students may be too young to appreciate this great book!
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Post by AngelBellaDonna » 22 Dec 2014, 16:29

I think this is a grea book, but certainly not for a fifth grader! That's too young of an age to understand this book and appreciate it, and there is some content in here that certainly isn't appropriate for someone so young.

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Post by _M_ » 24 Dec 2014, 11:19

As much as you might want to prevent your child from reading in due to the language, your child has most likely heard this language before, and may have already used it in some situations. You may want to prevent or shelter your child from this language, but to put it bluntly, you can't. In schools today, children younger, and younger are swearing and using obscene language, its simply cool, and who doesn't want to be cool. This is probably the biggest thing children are able to lie about because there is so much practice. Don't you remember your first swear word? Wasn't exhilarating to disregard all authority and say whatever you want? Even though it might not be for you, for many children that is true. So reading a book with swearing in it will not really affect them at. Also, I personally read this in grade six, and I do agree that grade five might be a little early, not because of swearing but because of the heavy content, nonetheless, it is a good book that discuss socioeconomics, and to show children that not everyone is equally fortunate.

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Post by katiekat08 » 16 Jul 2015, 21:03

I read this book as a 7th grader. To date, it is my favorite book I have ever read in connection to a class (I am currently in college). I can understand some trepidation in allowing a 5th grader to read it though. I think that realistically middle school introduces children to more "vulgarity" (for lack of a better word), but I don't know that 5th grade really falls into that category.

I agree with the previous comment though in saying that The Outsiders isn't too bad for children in terms of language, but has some heavy content that maybe makes it more appropriate for a slightly older audience, like a PG-13 rating?

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Post by CharlotteHolmes » 31 Jul 2015, 17:58

I completely understand that kind of concern. I'd like to say, however, that it all depends on the individual child and their maturity level. When I was a child I read many books dealing with serious topics and a lot of them had profanity in them, but as I was mature for my age (my mother used to joke that I was born 40 years old) I was allowed to read them. My sister was a little more sensitive to things like that, so my mother watched her more carefully. I also think that children are more mature than we think they are, and they are capable of handling serious things provided they know the difference between reality and fiction. I encourage your daughter to read The Outsiders, as the profanity may be there, but there are also real life lessons in there that are great :) Just my opinion, of course.

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Post by Riesgomel » 02 Feb 2016, 19:10

My son read this when he was 11. I didn't object--I gave it to him. I was desperately trying to get him into reading. It did help. He loved it.

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Post by 10millionFireflies » 03 Feb 2016, 00:37

Both of my children read it last year in 8th grade, they enjoyed it more and grasped the concepts the teachers were trying to stress. I remember reading this book when I was in the 7th grade along with Rumble Fish. Honestly, I think the language was a bigger shock for my generation when we were reading this and I was born in the 80's. My children are reading things like Hunger Games in school as well and are generally more exposed to a great deal more then I was. I think as a mother you will have to explain to your children as they read this that yes language like that is used by people but at their age it would be inappropriate for them to use it.

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Post by Sarah the Writer » 08 Feb 2016, 21:27

I read this book in 4th grade and loved it. The characters are so real for me.

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Post by MatthewAlexander » 09 Mar 2016, 10:23

I agree. The language, as well as the content isn't appropriate for fifth graders. I read The Outsiders when I was in eighth grade and we were still a little iffy with everything in the book (granted, I went to a Catholic school and we were extremely sheltered at the time). I don't see a reason for fifth graders to read this book; it's a great read, but not for a fifth grader.
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Post by JB_corbin » 30 Mar 2016, 11:58

My seventh grade Literature teacher assigned The Outsiders, but by the time I reached seventh grade I had already read it many times since I was introduced to it when I was only in fifth grade. I was not influenced by the themes or language. My parents taught me from a young age to be discerning and to discuss such things with them that I didn't understand or that I was unfamiliar with. The Outsiders is still one of my favorite books, and I return to it often for inspiration for my own writing. It helped me deal with many things throughout middle and high school, and it led me to understand and embrace other amazing pieces of literature such as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Sleepers, which have much more adult themes and language than The Outsiders. I look forward to the day my oldest daughter reads S.E. Hinton's work, and I will most likely introduce her to it at around age eleven or twelve.

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