The Next Chapter·Bedside Books

Even as an adult, Irish Mythen still re-reads this classic YA novel

The Charlottetown folk singer-songwriter loves reading The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.
Irish Mythen is an Irish-born Canadian contemporary folk singer-songwriter. She is currently reading the classic YA novel The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. (Lisa MacIntosh, Penguin Books)

Irish Mythen is an Irish-born contemporary folk singer-songwriter based in Charlottetown. Her latest album, Little Bones, was released in 2019. She's currently nominated for a 2020 Canadian Folk Music Award in the solo artist category.

She's an avid reader and dropped by The Next Chapter to talk about S.E. Hinton's classic YA novel The Outsiders.

"The book I'm reading at the moment is S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. I come back to this book at least once a year, every year, since I was about 14 or 15. Our narrator is Ponyboy Curtis and he lives with his older brothers after the death of his parents from a car accident. 

"The brothers and their group of friends are called the Greasers. Their mortal sworn enemies are The Socs, which are the the upper-class boys from the other side of the tracks. These males know their place in the world.

It's about the struggles of love, growing up and going into adulthood.- Irish Mythen

"But this all falls apart with the introduction of a female named Cherry Valance, who strikes up this friendship with Ponyboy.

"The characters in the book begin to realize that people, regardless of their socioeconomic differences, are actually all the same. It's about the struggles of love, growing up and going into adulthood.

"It's YA, but it's a wonderful book that I still read today." 

Irish Mythen's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Watch Irish Mythen perform the song Tullamore Blues


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.