Novel: The Outsiders


Bibliographical Information:

Title- The Outsiders

Author- S.E. Hinton

ISBN- 0670532576

Publisher- Viking Press

Copyright- 1967

Genre(s): Young Adult, Classic YA, Coming of Age

Interest Age: 12 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Ponyboy Curtis, his brothers and his friends belong to the greaser group in their town and school. They must go against the current to grow up and find out who they are.

Plot Summary:

Ponyboy Curtis and his friends are part of the greasers, known for their long greasy hair. Ponyboy lives with his dropout brother Sodapop and his older brother Darry. The greasers consist of these 3, as well as Dallas, Steve, Two-Bit, and Johnny. Their rivals are the affluent Socs, who attack Ponyboy but he is saved by the greasers. Ponyboy and Johnny go to the movies and meet Cherry and Marcia (two Socs girls) and begin to talk with them. Their friend Dally comes and begins to annoy the girls. Ponyboy and Johnny begin to walk with the girls, and are confronted by Bob and Randy, their boyfriends.  The girls leave with them in order to stop the fight. Ponyboy gets home late, and gets in a fight with Darry. He leaves the house and decides to go to the park with Johnny. At the park, they are confronted once again by Bob and Randy and the Socs. Ponyboy blacks out, and wakes up to find that Johnny killed Bob. Terrified, the boys contact Dally and he sets them up in an abandoned church. There the boys disguise themselves. A rumble is planned between the Socs and greasers, and Dally tells the boys he will take them home. As they are leaving they find the church has caught on fire, and some children were in there. They rush to the rescue and both boys are hurt. Johnny is in critical condition because his back was broken. The boys are called heroes but Johnny still has to face responsibility for Bob’s death. Ponyboy and Darry makeup, and Ponyboy runs into Randy who claims he will not go to rumble because he is tired of the fighting. Ponyboy goes to visit Johnny in the hospital with Dally after the greasers win the rumble. Johnny dies and Dally runs out distraught. He robs a grocery store and raises a gun to police, and is shot down. Ponyboy suffered a concussion from an injury related to the rumble, he is acquitted of all things involved in Bob’s case. Ponyboy goes through a rough patch, but agrees to not fight with Darry. He begins to write a paper for class which begins with the beginning of the novel.

Critical Evaluation:

The Outsiders is one of my favorite all time books! This book really stands the test of time. I believe it was relevant to S.E. Hinton when she wrote it at 16, it was relevant when I read it as a freshman in high school, and it is still relevant today! I felt like I could connect with the “outsider” feelings the greasers felt. None of my “fights” ever got to rumble style but it is very realistic to what teens face, 50 years ago and today. S.E. Hinton created characters that are relatable and understandable.

Author Bio/Information:

“S.E. Hinton, was and still is, one of the most popular and best known writers of young adult fiction. Her books have been taught in some schools, and banned from others. Her novels changed the way people look at young adult literature.

Susan Eloise Hinton was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has always enjoyed reading but wasn’t satisfied with the literature that was being written for young adults, which influenced her to write novels like The Outsiders. That book, her first novel, was published in 1967 by Viking” (Biography, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: History, Social relationships, Classic YA Literature

Booktalking Ideas:

What different types of “groups” are seen today?

What is the views from society of the greasers? Of the Socs?

Challenging Issues:

This book has been challenged and banned several times in the time since it has been published. I will be prepared to answer any questions regarding violence within this novel. I will explain how it is necessary to show the feelings between the greasers and the Socs. I will also explain that Ponyboy’s family life is realistic to how some teens are brought up, especially in today’s world. I will come prepared with reviews and testimonials to how The Outsiders has positively impacted the teens who have read it.


Biography. (n.d.). S.E. Hinton. Retrieved from






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