John Conlan and Lorraine Jensen have to tell about something that just happened to them, about an experience too overwhelming to keep private.
The two high-school sophomores come from constricting, unhappy homes, and although life seems tolerable since they have found each other, there is still much to be desired. Unusual circumstances introduce them to a lonely old man with an awful secret. An intense friendship results, and together the three create a strange, unreal world out of their zaniness and laughter.
But the very energy which built this world soon works to destroy it, and John and Lorraine are left again with their own reality.
This perceptive novel has a fresh, startlingly unsentimental story to tell about two young people searching for a way out of emptiness.
Two high school sophomores tell of the tragic consequences of their friendship for a lonely man.
Notable Children's Books 1940–1970 (ALA)
Best of the Best Books (YA) 1966–1988 (ALA)
1969 Fanfare Honor List (The Horn Book)
Outstanding Children's Books of 1968 (NYT)
Best Children's Books of 1968 (Book World)
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One of the best-selling young adult books of all time, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Zindel. John Conlan is nicknamed “The Bathroom Bomber” after setting off firecrackers in the boys’ bathroom 23 times without ever getting caught. John and his best friend, Lorraine, can never please their parents, and school is a chore. To pass the time, they play pranks on unsuspecting people and it's during one of these pranks that they meet the “Pigman.” In spite of themselves, John and Lorraine soon get caught up in Mr. Pignati’s zest for life. In fact, they become so involved that they begin to destroy the only corner of the world that has ever mattered to them. Can they stop before it’s too late?Review:
For sophomores John and Lorraine, the world feels meaningless; nothing is important. They certainly can never please their parents, and school is a chore. To pass the time, they play pranks on unsuspecting people. It's during one of these pranks that they meet the "Pigman"--a fat, balding old man with a zany smile plastered on his face. In spite of themselves, John and Lorraine soon find that they're caught up in Mr. Pignati's zest for life. In fact, they become so involved that they begin to destroy the only corner of the world that's ever mattered to them. Originally published in 1968, this novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Zindel still sings with sharp emotion as John and Lorraine come to realize that "Our life would be what we made of it--nothing more, nothing less."
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