This is the underbelly of teen America. Susan Eloise Hinton was a teenager when she wrote The Outsiders, the story of rival gangs in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She used the pen name "S.E." so readers wouldn't know she was a girl, and bought a Camaro with the earnings. "Some of [the novel's] faults, like its over-the-top emotions and drama, are what make it so popular because that's the way kids really feel," she says. "You've got to have the hormones going before you really appreciate that book."
Librarian Elizabeth Bird says the novel's unresolved class struggle resonates as powerfully as ever. "There are always going to be the haves and the have-nots – the divide is getting bigger and bigger all the time. And this book talks about that. A lot of books for kids and teens do not."
Jack Starky read passages from the book.
(Originally aired: May 4, 2012)
Memos from Hollywood: Librarian Jo Ellen Misakian and the students of Lone Star School wrote to Francis Ford Coppola asking him to turn The Outsiders into a movie. He did.
â?? Read letters to Misakian from producer Frank Roos during the film's development
Slideshow: How The Outsiders became a movie
The story you just read is freely available and accessible to everyone because readers like you support The World financially.
Thank you all for helping us reach our goal of 1,000 donors. We couldn’t have done it without your support. Your donation directly supported the critical reporting you rely on, the consistent reporting you believe in, and the deep reporting you want to ensure survives.