by SE Hinton
First Published: 1967 by Puffin Books
New York Herald Tribune Best Teenage Books List, 1967
Chicago Tribune Book World Spring Book Festival Honor Book, 1967
Media and Methods Maxi Award, 1975
ALA Best Young Adult Books, 1975
Massachusetts Children’s Book Award, 1979
They walked out slowly, silently, smiling.
“Need a haircut, greaser?” The medium-sized blond pulled a knife out of his back pocket and flipped the blade open.
I finally thought of something to say. “No.” I was backing up, away from that knife. Of course I backed right into one of them. They had me down in a second. I fought to get loose, and almost did for a second; then they tightened up on me and slugged me a couple of times. So I lay still, swearing at them between gasps. A blade was held against my throat.
“How’d you like that haircut to begin just below the chin?”
According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for “social”) has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers–until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.
S.E. Hinton on the book:
The Outsiders is definitely my best selling book; but what I like most about it is how it has taught a lot of kids to enjoy reading.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I give The Outsiders my highest rating of five stars. It was written in 1962 and continues to be a classic and the best young adult novel ever written. Ponyboy, the main character, gives a gripping account of what it’s like for a youth living on the outside of society. He represents all youth who have felt like outsiders, the downtrodden. This isn’t a Christian novel, but it has no bad language or objectionable scenes. In fact, I believe Christians could learn a lot about how to understand and reach out to trouble teens by reading this novel.