Paul Zindel’s touching young adult novel, The Pigman, is the study of a friendship between two teens and an older man. John, Lorraine, and their friends, Norton and Dennis, make prank calls to their neighbors, intending to swindle them out of small sums of money. When John and Lorraine go to Mr. Pignati’s home to collect his “charitable donation,” he shows them a collection of porcelain pigs, and an unlikely relationship develops between the three. Lonely Mr. Pignati pretends his wife has not passed away, turning his generosity to his young friends, buying them gifts and taking them to the zoo to see his beloved baboon, Bobo. In time, the teenagers confess their deceit, and Mr. Pignati admits his wife has passed away. Later, Mr. Pignati has a heart attack; during his hospitalization, John and Lorraine hold a party at his house that erupts in mayhem. When Mr. Pignati returns to the wreckage, he is grief stricken. A final visit to the zoo reveals that Bobo has died, and Mr. Pignati also collapses and dies, leaving the teenagers to mourn. Arguably the best and most popular novel of Zindel’s career, The Pigman is an excellent depiction of the complicated nature of relationships and the daily choices we constantly make, but more importantly, how these relationships and choices ultimately shape the lives we lead. A darker and more somber read, Zindel’s novel is best for mature students of a high school age.