I read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton for the first time when I was eleven years old, and have reread it several times since, including twice more during my time in prison. It remains just as relevant, affecting, and impressively written as when it first captured my imagination as a still-skinny prepubescent who was still mostly scared of girls. Intrigued, curious, and attracted, but still largely scared. I suppose it’s only fitting then that it was a female, the author S.E. Hinton, who shocked me from the delusion that I was going to be a professional athlete. After reading The Outsiders I knew I wanted to be a writer. Once I found out that S.E. Hinton was only 16 years old when she wrote The Outsiders, I thought that it just might be possible for me to be a writer. With its plethora of memorable and entirely accessible characters who all inhabit a world that was so far removed from my own upbringing, yet somehow managed to feel so very much like my own, this is an excellent novel that makes me laugh, cheer, and cry each time I read it.