American Icons: The Outsiders

Studio 360
The World
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. 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
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