“Any writer who gives a reader a pleasurable experience is doing every other writer a favor because it will make the reader want to read other books. I am all for it.” – S.E. Hinton
Hinton, who celebrated her 70th birthday yesterday, became a household name while still in her teens, authoring her mega-bestseller The Outsiders in 1965. Inspired by two rival gangs, the Greasers and the Socs, at her Oklahoma high school, the book has sold upward of 15 million copies. Her desire was to show sympathy toward the Greasers by writing from their point of view.
Hinton – whose initials stand for Susan Eloise – has been acclaimed for her attention to the details that Young Adults not only identify with but embrace. Many have said she is a true spokesperson for their points of view. America’s YA librarians agreed, giving her the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her body of work on behalf of youth and young adults. The librarians noted that in reading Hinton's novels "a young adult may explore the need for independence and simultaneously the need for loyalty and belonging, the need to care for others, and the need to be cared for by them." She also is a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame.
Hinton's books Tex; That Was Then, This Is Now; and Rumble Fish – like The Outsiders – have all been made into popular movies. “How a piece ends is very important to me,” Hinton said. “It's the last chance to leave an impression with the reader, the last shot at 'nailing' it. I love to write ending lines.”
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