Ponyboy Curtis is the main character and he are part of a gang named The Greasers. He don't have parents and lives with his two brothers (Sodapop and Darrel).
There is a rivaly between two major gangs, the Socs (rich) and the Greasers (poor) from the same town. The Socs begin to beat up Ponyboy and pull a knife on him. Then, Ponyboy's brother and the rest of Greaser appear on the scene and chase the Socs away.
Socs grabs Ponyboy and hold his head under the frigid water of the fountain. Johnny was killed a Soc (Bob) to protect Ponyboy. This force them to run away. Dally tells them to hide in an abandoned church. One day, when they arrived home, the church catches fire with young children inside. Johnny and Ponyboy attempts to save them, but Johnny was get badly injured.
After the rumble, Johnny dies from his injuries. This affects Dally and he can't handle it anymore. He robs a store and pulls and empty gun on the police who are trying to arrest him. Then, Dally gets died.
Ponyboy is sick in bed for a fews day. He is overwhelmed with the loss of so many close people in his life. Ponyboy knocked unconscious and wakes up after a fews day at home. Then he reconciles with his brother Darrel Curtis.
At the end, Ponyboy was recovers from his trauma. The novel ends with Ponyboy writing the opening line that begin with 'When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and ride home'