Critical Essay by Zena Sutherland
SOURCE: "The Teen-Ager Speaks," in The Saturday Review (New York), January 27, 1968, p. 34.
In the following essay, Sutherland examines the controversy surrounding The Outsiders, providing comments excerpted from a newspaper article by Hinton, from letters written by teenage fans of the novel, and from letters written by adults who objected to the violence depicted in the novel.
"Have you looked at the books on the Young Adult Shelf?" S. E. Hinton asked in Read magazine November 1. "They are written by aging writers who either try to remember their own youth—which was at least fifteen years ago—or they try to write about today's teens without knowing them." S. E. Hinton, now a college sophomore, wrote The Outsiders at the age of fifteen. I'd been watching for the book because of...