The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton will always be my favorite book ever written because to this day my heart breaks for all those boys — fictional characters that brought me to tears when I was twelve and read it for the first time (I STILL cry even now in my 30’s) — simple, poignant characters fighting to belong in a world where things are so unfairly divided.
In that vein, I think there shall never be a BETTER book than To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The Outsiders is my favorite of all time but in my (humble) opinion, the best book ever written is To Kill a Mockingbird.
There are no two books I hold in higher regard — books that have changed the way children and perhaps some adults think about the world they live in and the people that inhabit it. These books are not perfect, they’re not politically correct, and they have angered plenty of people over the decades, but the one thing these two books have done to thousands, perhaps even millions of readers is to make them think about the world in which they live — to think about the people on the fringes of society (in one case it is an economic/social divide, in the other it is a racial one) and the courage it takes to live there.
I read a LOT of crap over the course of a year, but when I need to reset, I read these two works and remember why I love words and the people who weave them together.
People die every day, but some words, some works, live forever.