Disclaimer: I love S. E. Hinton. The Outsiders is hands-down my favorite book; I could read it over, and over, and over again (and have). I met the author two years ago at Book Expo NYC and secured a signed copy of the 40th anniversary edition of her ground-breaking book. I first read The Outsiders on the suggestion of a friend of mine in 7th grade (before we were assigned to read it in school), and have since read everything Ms. Hinton has written, including her stand-alone adult title and her children's book. I never knew that Some of Tim's Stories exsisted until I came across the 2009 edition, published by Speak.
Tim's stories are autobiographical, starring Tim himself as Mike. Terry and Mike are cousins -- their dads are brothers who married sisters -- but were raised as close as brothers. These stories tell of various times in their lives, mostly tough times through which they struggled to survive, emotionally and physically. What comes across most clearly in these stories is the idea that we very often don't know where we're going in life, how to get there, or what to do with what we have. We can almost always get from Point A to Point B, but B usually isn't what was anticipated at the onset.
The stories are followed by a series of interviews with the author, S. E. Hinton, who began writing fiction at age 15, had her first book, The Outsiders, published when she was 17, and who wrote many of Tim's Stories at a point in her life when she was struggling with severe writer's block. Understanding more of Ms. Hinton's journey helps the reader to form a closer relationship with Tim/Mike, and to come the realization that life brings unexpected twists and turns all the time . . . it's up to the individual to make the best of it.
Recommended to readers interested in the "process," and also for those who just can't get enough of the author who invented Ponyboy and Johnny . . .
Call number: YA HINTON (Teen Room)
Reviewed by kate the librarian
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
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