The Outsiders S. E. Hinton

Book Summary

This novel is about a 14 year old boy named Ponyboy Curtis. Ponyboy lives with his brothers, Darry and Sodapop Curtis. They live in Oklahoma in a very small town. In this town there are 2 gangs, the Greasers and the Socs, short for "socials." Ponyboy and around 15 more boys are part of the greasers. They are the "trouble makers." But this gang isn't just a gang. They are a family. They look out for eachother no matter what. Ponyboy and Johnny, his best friend, are the two main characters. They go through a lot of crazy obstacles throughout the story but they stay strong and don't let it get in the way of their family.

Author Biography

Susan Eloise Hinton was born on the 22nd of July 1950 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Since Oklahoma did not have many activities for girls, reading and writing became her pastimes. She also wanted to become a cattle rancher as a young girl but that ambition was overcome by her love for writing. Her books are written based on things that have happened to her in her life. Many of her books adapted into films. Not much is known about Hinton’s personal life as she did not like making it public however her love for reading and writing was revealed by herself.


The Outsiders is all about hope. All of the boys hope for better lives. They hope that one day there will be peace with the gangs and everyone will just be happy.

"Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold."


The Greasers are not just a group of guys. They are a family. They do everything together, protect each other and they are always there for each other.

"...the four boys Darry and Soda and I have grown up with and consider family. We're almost as close as brothers, when you grow up in a tight-knot neighborhood like ours you get to know each other real well."


Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dally were brave when they went into the church to save the children. They knew it was a bad idea and they knew they would get hurt, but they went in there anyway because they are brave.

"I swear, you three are the bravest kids I've seen in a long time. First you and the black haired kid climbing in that window, and then the tough-looking kid going back in to save him. Mrs. O'Briant and I think you were sent straight from heaven. Or are you just professional heroes or something?"

The Margaret A. Edwards Award

The Outsiders won The Margaret A. Edwards Award, an award for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. It recognizes an author's work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society, and in the world.

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Book Reviews

"...the heart of Hinton’s groundbreaking novel is still, indisputably, gold." - Dale Peck
"...I would strongly recommend this book to other middle school students because of all of the excitement. This book has been around for four decades and is still enjoyed by middle school students." - Parker Coles

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