The first seven paragraphs of The Outsiders, a novel written by S.E. Hinton when she was only seventeen years old, are extremely effective in regards to the novel as a whole. The reader is given a great deal of information about not only the protagonist, Ponyboy Curtis, but also his brothers, Sodapop and Darry (Darrell) Curtis, and the "gang" in general.
Ponyboy explains the social standing of himself and the rest of the gang in the beginning of the novel, and goes on to reveal crucial information about the Socs, the conflict between the two groups, and the fear and violence that result. Johnny Cade's attack by members of the Socs is addressed when Ponyboy admits that he is being followed by a red Corvair and "didn't like it so much..."
All of this information is important to the story. Hinton does an excellent job of providing an interesting, informative exposition for her story.
Based on the first few words about Paul Newman and a ride home is a very effective opening if you tend to finish the book because that's the exact word for word of the ending... Sorry for spoiler if you haven't finished the book.