Children's author Paul Zindel passed away on March 27, from cancer. He was 66.
Zindel was a successful playwright before turning his attention to writing for children. Harper & Row editor Charlotte Zolotow saw a dramatization of his play, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, on television and approached him about writing a novel for young adults. In 1968, he published that young adult novel, The Pigman, which was considered revolutionary for its time because of the book's realistic exploration of its teenaged characters' lives. Today he is considered one of the founders of the young adult literary genre, and his body of work reflects his ability to write about teens with honesty and humor.
Throughout his career he won many awards, including the 1971 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, and the 2002 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime contribution in writing for young adults.