"Eight hundred and fifty-three horrifying things had happened to me by the time I was a teenager. That was when I met my Pigman, whose real name was Nonno Frankie."
The year Paul Zindel, his sister, Betty, and their mother lived in the town of Travis, Staten Island, New York, was the most important time of his teenage life. It was the year he and Jennifer Wolupopski were best friends. It was the year of the apple tree, the water-head baby, and Cemetery Hill. And it was the year he met Nonno Frankie Vivona, who became his Pigman.
Every word of his story is true. And The Pigman & Me has an added bonus--one crucial piece of information: the secret of life, according to the Pigman.
Zindel's ( The Pigman ; My Darling, My Hamburger ) fans will find that his autobiography has much more than a little in common with his fiction: black humor abounds, and the whipcrack narration is replete with genuine teenage sarcasm. Rather than chronicle his entire life, the author has chosen to relates the events of one a single significant year in his early adolescence. After years of moving the family from one shabby apartment to the next, Zindel's unhappy and eccentric mother seemed ready to settle into the house she and Connie--another single mother--had bought. Just how much this promise of stability meant to Zindel is revealed by the intensity of the longing that lies just below his wisecracking tone. The very best part of the arrangement was the presence of Connie's father--Nonno Frankie. In his frequent visits to the Staten Island household, Nonno Frankie cooked sumptuous Italian feasts and dished out plenty of advice and support to the young Zindel. Readers familiar with the author's novels will not be surprised to learn that in Zindel's real life--as well as in his fiction--this happy situation is too good to last long. With its brisk pace and lively goings-on, this account will appeal to the die-hard Zindel fan and the casual reader alike. Ages 12-up.