Hello, you.  Time for another “Byte” today!

But before that, SCHOOL’S OUT!!!!! WHOOOOOO!!!!! SUMMER VACATION!!!  That’s good for me.

Anyway, back to “Book Bytes.”

I’m reviewing The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton (if you didn’t know, because for some reason, you did not read the title).

Now, I did not pick the book myself; I had to read it along with the rest of the class.  I am glad I did, though.  In my opinion, it was a good book!

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

Susan Eloise Hinton wrote this book because she thought that there were no real books talking about teen life.  The publisher wanted to use her initials because the publisher thought that it would appeal to both the male and female audiences.

The Outsiders is about Ponyboy Curtis (the narrator), the gang he is in (the Greasers), and the troubles they go through.

Ponyboy’s parents died of a car crash, so Pony (his nickname, age 14) is taken care of by his brothers:  Sodapop (Soda, age 16 going-on-17) and Darrel (Darry, age 20).

Ah, where to begin with the story … I guess where the action begins!

After Pony misses his curfew, his brothers get angry and start yelling at him.  Then, Darry snaps and hits Ponyboy.  Ponyboy leaves home and meets up with his friend Johnny (age 16), and they run away.  They go to a nearby park and a couple of Socs (short for Socials and pronounced so-shis, who are the Greasers’ rivals) find them.  One Soc tries to drown Pony. When he wakes up, Pony finds out that Johnny killed a Soc.  They go to the Greasers’ unofficial leader Dallas (Dally, age 17) for help.

Dally tells them about an old abandoned church, and Ponyboy and Johnny hide out there.  Five days later, after eating nothing but baloney, Dally takes them out to eat.  Johnny decides to turn themselves in and go back.  However, they notice the church is on fire, so they go and check it out.

Some kids were playing inside the church, and they are still stuck inside the burning building. Ponyboy and Johnny decide to help them out.  They get all the kids out, but the roof falls on Johnny.

Later on, Johnny dies, and then Dally dies because Johnny died.  Ponyboy re-unites with his brothers.  Then, it gets boring.  Wow, I just butchered a piece of artwork.

This was a good book.  Not the BEST, but a good book. I give it a solid B (8/10).  Why?  Because I’m too scared to go any lower.  What a wimp I am …

There is a theme going on in the book: Stay Gold.  Those are the last words that Johnny said to Ponyboy, and it is supposed to be from a Robert Frost poem (“Nothing Gold Can Stay“).

See you next time on the Book Byte block and remember: Life is always sweeter with a little chocolate!


The recipe for The Outsiders is for “Heart of Gold”.  If you have read the book, you will know why.

Heart of Gold



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll out the thawed puff pastry until it’s about 1/4-inch thick.  Using a small heart shaped cutter (about 3 inches at its widest point), cut out 4 heart shapes.  Cut out another 4 hearts and using another heart shaped cutter, about 1/2-inch smaller, cut out the center of 4 hearts, leaving just the outsides of the hearts.  Throw away the centers or reserve for another use.

Brush all the solid heart pieces with beaten egg.  Then place a cut-out heart on top of each solid heart and brush with beaten egg.  Using a fork, lightly pierce the pastry, (this will help prevent the pastry from bubbling as it bakes).  Transfer hearts to a sheet pan and place in the preheated oven.  Bake until golden brown and fluffy.  Usually around 10 minutes, depending on your oven.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples.  In a large skillet over medium heat add the sugar and heat until sugar starts to turn a golden color, add the butter and apples and cook until apples are tender but not mushy, around 3 to 5 minutes depending on thickness of apples.  Remove from heat.

To finish, place the cooked pastry heart in the center of each plate and spoon the cooked apples with the sauce over the hearts.

Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and gold leaf.


About Michael

Michael is a seventh grade student who loves to read and cook. That’s right, cook!  He joined Kids Need to Read because he thought that it would be a great opportunity to help everyone open up to literacy. “When you read, you read.  When you watch TV, you watch TV.  When you create a story, you open your mind.” — Michael


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