Critical Review by Charles Solomon
SOURCE: A review of The Outsiders, in The Los Angeles Times Book Review, August 12, 1990, p. 10.
In the following brief review of the 1990 paperback issue of The Outsiders, Solomon outlines the plot of the novel, notes the media adaptations based upon it, and, lauding Hinton as an "excellent juvenile novelist," urges teens to read her works.
Written when she was only 16, The Outsiders was S. E. Hinton's first novel. It set the pattern for her later works, which all focus on disaffected, underclass teen-agers in the Southwest. The hero of the story, Ponyboy Curtis, who conceals a poetic soul under a self-styled "greaser" exterior, finds himself drawn into a gang war that teaches him the difference between the right and wrong side of the tracks. The Outsiders is currently the basis of a show on Fox television and was made into a feature film by Francis Coppola; these adaptations should encourage teen-agers to read the work of this excellent juvenile novelist.