S.E. Hinton doesn't think that her classic coming-of-age young adult novel The Outsiders should be adapted into a graphic novel. The revelation comes after educator Christie DeHart took to Twitter to ask Hinton to consider adapting the story into the graphic novel format, noting that her students love the book, but that she could engage more readers with a different application of the story. Instead of being open to the idea of drawing in further readers, Hinton dismissed the suggestion outright -- and made it clear she doesn't consider graphic novels to be "real" books.
"No," Hinton replied. "The Outsiders is the first book many people read in their life & it shows them they CAN read a book. Not that they can turn the pages on a graphic novel."
No The Outsiders is the first book many people read in their life & it shows them they CAN read a book. Not that they can turn the pages on a graphic novel. https://t.co/rabJnbQb3G— S. E. Hinton (@se4realhinton) October 14, 2020
For those who might not be familiar with The Outsiders -- it is indeed a book that many read in school though it is not required reading everywhere -- the book was first published in 1967 and was written by Hinton while she was still in high school. The story details the conflict between two rival gangs divided by socioeconomic statues, the working-class Greasers and the upper class Socs and is told from the point of view of Greaser Ponyboy Curtis. The book remains popular to this day and was adapted to film with the 1983 The Outsiders directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
While there is no disputing The Outsiders' place in in literature, Hinton's comments soon took notice from many including everyone from fans, educators and even comic book creators and artists with many weighing in that graphic novels are books and an excellent tool that can help those struggling in reading. Even Mitch Gerads chimed in, noting that he is a reader of books because of comics.
"I'm a voracious reader of books BECAUSE of comics," Gerads wrote. "I could read before every other kind in my class BECAUSE of comics. I have my dream career telling stories BECAUSE of comics. Reading is reading and if you can't get behind that then you have no business writing."
Hinton apparently took the comments about the importance of graphic novels to heart, however. She later followed up, letting people know that she'd reconsidered and apologized to graphic novel fans.
In case you haven't noticed, I am reconsidering it & apologize to all fans of graphic novels. https://t.co/zLIHBnIoUN— S. E. Hinton (@se4realhinton) October 14, 2020
"In case you haven't noticed, I am reconsidering it & apologize to all fans of graphic novels," Hinton wrote in one reply.
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in Hinton's take on graphic novels in the comments.