When Meg and I started discussing the idea of the OBL, we immediately started listing all the places to visit. But then we started branching out. The question arose: what movies/books are Okie Must Reads/Sees?
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is definitely on the list. Not only is it set in Oklahoma, the movie was filmed in our neck of the woods, and S.E. Hinton herself is an Okie girl. It’s a perfect trifecta.
S.E. Hinton started writing The Outsiders when she was a 15 year old student at Will Rogers High School in Tulsa. She wasn’t happy with the books being written for young adults. She wanted a book that depicted teenagers in an authentic way. Something relevant. And she achieved it. It’s still relevant today.
Each year, my students read the book. It’s one of those books that grabs even my reluctant readers. I always know I have them when they groan when it’s time to stop reading each day. And then when we watch the movie, the deal is sealed.* When they spot locations they recognize, they get plumb giddy. And heaven help us, when the old Owasso football field shows up in the back ground AND an Owasso school bus… Good grief, they lose it!
So, a must read and see if you’re a real Okie (or even if you’re not) is The Outsiders. It will take you back to your youth.
*Plus, you get to see a very young, very good-looking Rob Lowe. Hubba hubba. Reason enough to watch.