Saturday, May 15, 2010
Happy Birthday Paul Zindel!
I don't usually write about Young Adult or Teen novels but I couldn't let today pass without doing homage to the great Paul Zindel. I remember reading The Pigman when I was younger and how it had such an effect on me. It was one of the first times I realized that not all book have endings that are neat and tidy. It was such a sad book. It is a perennial on school reading lists which it should be. It is a must read for any teenager or younger child to read. It is a powerful way to explain how what we do and say can effect other people. It taught me that words and actions can be harmful when we don't think of consequences. I have always thought that The Pigman's Legacy was a book of redemption. Wouldn't it be great if we could fix what had have broken....lessons learned are powerful.
Paul Zindel was great at really knowing his characters. I remember watching his playThe Effects of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds when I was little. My sister played the role of Tillie in her college production. At the time I didn't understand it but as I grew older I realized that this too was a powerful commentary on how we should treat the people around us.
I am aware that Mr Zindel's books get banned for language and such but let's face it that is only because he wrote characters who are real....they should not be overlooked.