This boy, Ponyboy and his brothers Sodapop and Darry are affliated with a gang called the Greasers. The Greasers are cconsidered the slums of their city. They are rivals with the rich kids, Socs. These two gangs consistently fight. Ponyboy is a quiet, shy boy that doesn't like to get into trouble. He enjoys reading and writing, and even drawing. He always gets outstanding grades in his classes. His eldest brother, Darry, is head of the family since their parents passed away in a car accident. His is considered very serious and cautious about what his brothers actions are. He works all most all of the time and is quite hard on Ponyboy, but it is only out of love. Soapop the brother that is in the middle, is usually happy and is considered quite attractive. There are other members of their gang too including, Dally and Johnny. Dally is the oldest out of them all and is considered the big macho man. While Johnny, like Ponyboy is very quiet, His parents always are beating on him, so he is considered scary. He is the pet of the gang. Recently, Johnny has been beaten up by the Socs. Sodapop, Johnny, and Pony are all riding around and pick up a couple of girls.
One of the girls are flirting with Johnny, and secretly likes Soda. Turns out the girl has a boyfriend, and the same boy beats up on Johnny. Ponyboy ends up coming home late one night and ends up fueding with his older brother, Darry. He ends up running out of the house to the park where he meets Johnny. Some socs arrive and are looking for trouble. They almost drown Ponyboy in the fountain. Scared out of his mind, Johnny ends up stabbing Bob, killing him. The two scattered in the head, run to Dally knowing he knew what to do. Dally gives them money and a gun and told them to hide in a church that was a short distance out of town. They stayed there for a few days, staying sane, by readig poetry to each other. Dallas finds the two boys in the church and they tell him that they want to turn themselves in, but before doing that the church catches on fire and several little children are trapped inside.