"The Pigman" by Paul Zindel is about two teenage troublemakers who befriend an older man and find a caring parent that neither of them ever had before, but when the man falls ill the two teens make some serious mistakes that eventually contribute to his death. The book is a young adult novel which was published in 1968.
Zindel often based his characters, like the parents in "The Pigman," on people in his own life. The mother of the female lead is based on his own mother, a single working woman trying to raise a child. He often uses the way that his characters refer to others as a method to portray how they are viewed, like giving parents derogatory nicknames to show that the characters view them as boring and one dimensional.