The Pigman, a novel by Paul Zindel, is a story of two best friends, John Conlan and Lorraine Jensen, who narrate the life of Mr. Pignati. The Pigman takes place during the 1600s in Staten Island, New York. Through alternating chapters, John and Lorraine both tell a story of how they met an old man, Mr. Pignati, through a prank call, who then became a close friend to them over the course of a few months. John, one of the protagonists of the story, along with Lorraine, his best friend, is a high school sophomore. Being six feet tall, he’s very handsome, and eye-catching, not to mention that he’s determined and adventurous. Although he’s very confident and intelligent, he hates going to school, thus he can get quite mischievous and manipulative there. Unlike John, Lorraine is extremely insecure of herself, has a low self-esteem, and is very observant, manipulative, and superstitious. Both John and Lorraine face parental neglection and abuse at home; John’s parents make him feel worthless while Lorraine’s mother treats her with verbal abuse. Mr. Pignati is a lonely and depressed widow who can’t come into acceptance of the fact that his wife died. Throughout the story, John and Lorraine face conflicts from their bad relationships with their parents, while Mr.Pignati struggles to accept his wife’s death.The book starts off with John and Lorraine prank calling Mr. Pignati, pretending to be calling from a charity. After a long conversation, Mr. Pignati offers John and Lorraine to come to his house to take his donation of $10. Mr. Pignati invited John and Lorraine in his house and shows them around his house. When Lorraine asked where his wife is, Mr. Pignati tells them that Conchetta, his wife, has been in California for the past month visiting a relative. The next day, Mr. Pignati invites John and Lorraine to go to the zoo with him, where he shows them his best friend, Bobo the baboon. John and Lorraine found themselves visiting Mr.Pignati very frequently. Mr. Pignati soon played the parental role for John and Lorraine. John and Lorraine felt more comfortable with Mr. Pignati than they did with their own parents. He took them to a store in Manhattan, where he bought them roller skates and food. One day, while John was exploring Mr.Pignati’s house, he learns that Conchetta’s actually dead when he finds a funeral bill for Conchetta Pignati. Feeling guilty about lying to him, John and Lorraine confess that they were never charity workers and Mr.Pignati breaks down, telling them that Conchetta’s dead. Later that day, Mr. Pignati had a heart attack, where he was then taking to the hospital. John and Lorraine tell the hospital that they’re Mr. Pignati’s children, which allows them to visit him during his hospital stay. Mr. Pignati gives John and Lorraine the keys to his house and tells them to take care of his house and Bobo. The next day, John and Lorraine host a small cocktail party at Mr. Pignati’s house with about 40 of their friends. Everyone got drunk and Helen Kazinski ends up ripping up one of Conchetta’s dress. Norton Kelly, not being invited, came storming in the house destroying everything that came his way, including the ceramic pigs. Suddenly, Mr. Pignati arrives home from the hospital, along with some police, to see the damage done to his house. He breaks down in tears and the police takes John and Lorraine to their houses, to which Lorraine ends up getting slapped and yelled at by her mom. The next day, John and Lorraine ring Mr. Pignati to apologize and invite him to go to the zoo with him. When Mr.Pignati went to the zoo, he learns that Bobo had died from pneumonia a week ago while he was in the hospital. Immediately, Mr. Pignati started shaking and he has yet another heart-attack and dies. John and Lorraine’s conflicts of neglecting parents are solved when they meet Mr.Pignati who then takes on the parental role for the kids. Mr. Pignati solves faces his problem when he finally admits to John and Lorraine that Conchetta died. One of the most significant themes portrayed in this book is that you don’t have to be blood to be considered family. Throughout the story, it became so that Mr. Pignati was a better parent than John and Lorraine’s actual parents. Mr. Pignati treated John and Lorraine as if they were his own kids.In my opinion, I would say that The Pigman by Paul Zindel was one of the best books I’ve ever read. Written for middle schoolers like us, the book wasn’t too confusing nor was it too easy to understand. The book was very intriguing and unpredictable as the author portrayed foreshadowing throughout the story. For example, in chapter 3, John foreshadows Mr. Pignati’s death when he states, “If you ask me, I think he would’ve died anyway. Maybe we speeded things up a little, but you really can’t say we murdered him.” My favorite part of the book would be when Mr. Pignati finally admits to John and Lorraine that Conchetta was dead. It showed how much John and Lorraine had meant to him and that he had so much trust in them that he was finally able to admit the truth to them. The Pigman is one of the few books that could be relatable to kids of all ages. Many kids and teenagers could connect with John and Lorraine on a personal basis based on their lives at home. Like many other kids, John and Lorraine don’t have the best relationships with their parents, and the often face verbal abuse from them.I would definitely recommend this book to others. In the beginning, I was a bit hesitant on wanting to continue the book, but it turned out to be a really good book. I’d rate the book a 7 out of 10. Although the book had a meaningful touch to it, I feel that that there wasn’t much to the book. The plot went through itself a bit too fast and before you knew it, Mr. Pignati had died. But despite this, the book was very unique. Through alternating chapters, both John and Lorraine told their own side of the story, which was far different than any other book I’ve ever read.