According to Ponyboy you're either a Greaser or a Soc. Coming from the wrong side of town, he's a Greaser and his high school rivals are the Socs -- the kids who have the money, the attitude and can get away with anything. The Socs love to spend their time beating up the Greasers, but Ponyboy and his friends know what to expect and stick together. But one night someone goes to far, and Ponyboy's world begins to crumble. What are the themes? Growing up, friendship, rivalry, loyalty, urban life. Teaching points Powerful themes and skilfully drawn characters will engage young readers and provoke discussion. Feature film version directed by Francis Ford Coppolla provides opportunities for media work.