1. Relevance-- Even though The Outsiders was written in the 1960s, the subject of gangs and the need to belong is still relevant today. Many students can identify with the feeling of being an outsider whether at school, home, or in the community.
2. Characters-- The characters in The Outsiders are well-drawn and memorable, and since they are all teenagers, they are easy for students to identify with; their problems are dramatic at times in the story, but they react and deal with them as any regular kid would.
3. Suspense-- The Outsiders is a true page-turner, hooking the reader with realistic dialogue and descriptions from the point of view of Ponyboy, the main character. On the way home from the movie theater, Ponyboy is jumped by a rival gang that pulls a knife on him in the first couple pages of the book. From that point forward, the action and suspense of the book continues to build, but also focuses on the emotions of the characters at the same time.
The outsiders is a very good book suitable for ten year olds.