During this year's Summer Reading Program, teens can submit reviews of books they have been reading. Below find our first two reviews, both dystopian young adult fiction. Already read these? Check out our list of readalikes, hand-picked by library staff.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Reviewer: Phoebe S.
Rating: 5 Stars
I didn’t expect to like The Outsiders as much as I did, but it was a really great book. I didn’t exactly know what it was about before reading it, but I knew it was about boys and one of them was named Ponyboy, so I expected it be weird and a bit boring. The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, follows two weeks of fourteen-year-old Ponyboy’s life. Ponyboy and his two older brothers, Darry and Sodapop, are part of a gang. Both of their parents are dead, but the gang has become their family. One night, Ponyboy and his friend Johnny get into a gang fight. Johnny ends up killing a boy from the enemy gang so Ponyboy and Johnny run away. The Outsiders follows their life for the next week and a half.
This book was much more emotional than I expected it to be. It is also a great story about the importance of friendship and family. One of my favorites things about this book was that, although on the surface it might seem like a “boy book,” it really is not. The gang plot is really just a cover for what the book is really about. Another thing I enjoyed about the book was that there was something unique about each of the other characters. For this group of boys, the gang is there family even if their parents are alive. The author did a really good job of developing each of the characters just enough that the reader got a little insight into what they were like, while also letting the reader imagine a little bit more about the characters.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone old enough to read it. I think even adults should read this if they haven’t already. However, it is important to mention that this book has some mature themes. There is language, gang violence, and Ponyboy is often talking about smoking. I will also be looking forward to watching the movie adaptation and seeing how it compares to the book.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Summary: The classic study of human nature which depicts the degeneration of a group of schoolboys marooned on a desert island.
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Summary: After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the Canadian wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.
- Holes by Louis Sachar
Summary: As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.
This review was submitted as part of the York County Public Library Summer Reading program, where we're imagining our stories everyday. Are you a teen participant? Make sure you submit a review of a book you read during the program to help earn your "Imagine Your Story" Quest activity badge.
Haven't registered, yet, you say? It's not too late to sign up! Register through our Summer Reading Portal and start logging minutes and activities to win prizes all summer long.