What was I reading at age 15?


My favourite author growing up was one that I discovered at school – something totally unexpected.  But when my English teacher gave us a book by S E Hinton called Rumble Fish, I was the only one who didn’t groan at having to read it, but instead devoured it and then raided the school library looking for the rest of her books. I’ve read all of her books for young adults (but not the children’s books!), and my favourite is Taming the Star Runner, followed by the now iconic The Outsiders.

S.E. Hinton, was and still is, one of the most popular and best known writers of young adult fiction. Her books have been taught in some schools, and banned from others. Her novels changed the way people look at young adult literature. 

I for one, am glad that her books were taught in my school.  She captured perfectly at that time how some of us at that age felt. I came back to The Outsiders at College when I did my final paper about how growing up in different times didn’t change the fact that the problems and emotions were still the same. I used The Outsiders, Little Women and another book I can’t remember to show how times changes, but the feelings of teenagers don’t.  This is what S E Hinton always excelled at.


The film worked so well too.  Although nothing could beat the book, the look and feel in the film perfectly captured the essence of the novel.  Plus, it spawned a generation of infamous actors who all went on to much bigger and better things but who will all be remembered on some level for this movie.

I will always remember the first and last lines of the book:

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight, from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman, and a ride home.”

THIS is a really great website, well worth a visit if you want a trip down memory lane, like I’ve had this morning. Sometimes, things, times and places just pop into my head (especially as I get older) and I would love to go back there.  I’d like to be 15 again, reading The Outsiders for the very first time and be wowed by it all over again. It never has the same impact as the first read, but it always works it’s magic on me, even at 39 years of age!


Today, S E Hinton is very active on Twitter. She’s a huge Supernatural fan and she still visits and chats to actors from her movies like Rob Lowe and Matt Dillon, so well worth a follow!

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