Back to Book Basics

Of all the books a person will read in their lifetime, there are few that can leave a lasting impact. Many people appreciate books for the knowledge it gives them and how we-like-this-picit affects their pre-existing viewpoints. The messages can teach you about love, help you find yourself and allow you to grow as a friend. Presented here are the books that just may change the way a person sees the world.


The Outsiders- S.E. Hinton

In its entirety, “The Outsiders” was created to talk about the teenage angst, friendships and address the prejudice between two stark social classes.

“The first thing I think of when I think of ‘The Outsiders’ is that it’s a great boy book,” said librarian Shannon Grieshaber.

Set during the late 1960’s, Hinton follows the life of Ponyboy Curtis, one of the most important main characters. Ponyboy, unlike all of his friends, prefers to be observant rather than rash-donning wild and ready to fight at all times for a reserved and calculating nature. Yet, in the eyes of their rivals and the world, he will always be just a dumb greaser. An assumption that just may destroy or restore the way of living around them.

“Boys that don’t like to read, will read this book and it will become their favorite,” said Grieshaber. “Though, that’s not to say that girls don’t read this book and love it- it is truly timeless.”

A “Greaser” is the name for poor residents living on the East side. Whereas, “The Socs”, are members of the upper middle class residing on the West side. These particular two groups hate each other purely based upon monetary and cultural differences they cannot control.

         “I read it over and over and everytime I find something new in the book,” senior Hannah Leahy said. “The outsiders made me want to live in the 50’s, where all guys are greasers.”

“The Outsiders” represents topics and themes that are much deeper than it alludes, such as race and current prejudices.


Stargirl-Jerry Spinelli             


“Stargirl,” written by Jerry Spinelli, is a recognizable novel to almost every young adult for its beautiful love take and to others because it was a required reading. The story of an average boy named Leo falls in love with the eccentric spirit, Stargirl, is one which defines the meaning of true love. Throughout the story, Leo struggles with trying to understand his intriguement for Stargirl while deciding if loving her is worth the risks involved.

“I think the reason that the book is so beloved is that, and mainly girls, discover [Stargirl] much younger say around elementary or middle school and the characters are in high school,” said Grieshaber. “So the concept of love in highschool makes them feel very grown up.”

The book encourages its readers to desire a relationship that defies what is societally acceptable and teaches them to welcome differences.

         “I enjoy how the themes of this book are deeper than their surface value,” senior Adonia Kuadio said. “I appreciate when young adult novels go above and beyond in that respect.”


Catcher in the Rye- J.D Salinger

Often pegged the story of all teen angst, “Catcher in the Rye” is about a young man named Holden Caulfield. In the much acclaimed novel, the main protagonist takes the reader on a journey throughout his life. Witty and hard to like, Caufield is pretty similar to the average teenager.

“It is easy to identify myself with [Holden] because in the book he is very distant from people, and I know for me, it can get really hard to open up,” junior Paola Rodriguez said.

Seemingly all alone and without much will to persist, Caufield begins his story as a relatable character to a plethora of teens and young adults.

“Anyone who picks up this book can relate to Holden in some aspect, because he’s such a teenager,” said junior Collin Shirley. “He has a lot of problems and he has a lot of things he’s going through.”

In the attempt to find himself after leaving school on a whim, he is led to situations that force him to question his judgement and his identity.

“There were parts I didn’t want to read, because some of the scenes were uncomfortable-however that’s what made it so realistic.” said Rodriguez.

The novel allows young adults to take a glimpse into reality. Life is not a predictable path, it is easy to get lost and make mistakes along the way at times.

“I identify with Holden in the part of the book where he feels alone because I feel like everyone has felt alone,” junior Isabella Ball said.

“The Catcher in the Rye” teaches teenagers the reality of life not easily seen from their current perspective.