“The Outsiders”: a page-turning read for young adults

Since 1967, S.E Hinton’s “The Outsiders” has been making literary waves. To this day, the iconic novel remains both touching and relevant.

Photo from Goodreads via Creative Commons License

Photo from Goodreads via Creative Commons License

By: Bryan Barros, Spring Reporter

The Outsiders, one of the most renowned American young adult novels in the world, has always been a literary monarch. Even 51 years after it’s publishing, The Outsiders continues to be a timeless classic in young adult fiction.


In its captivating story about young boys living in a world split into gangs, S.E Hinton makes sure that her characters are as memorable as can be. Ponyboy, the book’s fourteen year old antagonist, grows up in the “greaser” gang, living with his brothers in what is seen as a broken home.

His personality sets him apart from the other boys, and quite literally he is an “outsider” in his own community. In this, his narration gets S.E Hinton’s ideas of individuality in a society that defies it across.

When one of his friends, Johnny, commits murder after defending himself in a fight, he and Ponyboy make an escape. During their intense getaway, they learn that brotherhood is essential to survival in a world like theirs.

The Hidden Meaning

While the book provides ample entertainment through action and drama, it’s themes are just as important. S.E Hinton looks at the struggle that comes povertized youth.

With the split between “Soc’s” and “greasers”, the book’s two main gangs, she also touches on topics of classism. Being that the “Soc’s” are usually rich, her points about the social implications of financial circumstances is expressed adequately.

In this aspect, the story warms the hearts of many teens. Those in urban, low-income cities and neighborhoods who grow up within such brotherhoods can especially find connection with the book’s characters.

The Film

In addition to the novel’s great conceptual success, the film did not fall too short behind. It’s aesthetic valor made for an interesting and eye catching cinematic piece. Along with that, the lines, quoted exactly from the novel by a few famous faces including Tom Cruise, further made the story memorable.

Unfortunately, however, the movie version did not do the book enough justice. Though almost everything was spot on, from script to cast, the novel itself is much more worth while.

In the end, The Outsiders can and should be considered one of the best young adult reads of all time. S.E Hinton’s ability to create such impactful personas makes the novel worth while. The issues surrounding the characters make the book a relatable and relevant piece.

In all, make sure to pick up a copy of The Outsiders this summer.