Sometimes I worry these classes will get in the way of my love of reading. Tomorrow I’m sure we will talk about if this is still “relevant” and if it still has appeal. However today I say this. I still cried multiple times. I wish I’d kept a reading journal when I was younger but I am still fairly certain that I was even more moved now than I was in middle school. Ponyboy’s name still makes me roll my eyes, but he still speaks a powerful message. The tag line on the back says “A heroic story of friendship and belonging” which seems such a trivial summary when you think about such tough issues as the fact that the people on the other side aren’t that different from you. Something people today still can’t seem to realize. I think part of it is life experience, when I first read it I knew there were gaps but I didn’t see them in my own life, in my own town even though they were there. In high school I saw them more clearly and now I have even met a Dallas. I also think as a student I would have appreciated knowing that Hinton wrote it when she was in high school; that the two gangs existed in her world and she had friends in both; that the story sprang from her anger at a friend getting jumped. This is why i need to reread things I read in school so that I can truly see them now.