Roger Parazaider

June 25, 2018

Retired 5th grade teacher, long time fan


I am a retired fifth grade teacher from Geneva, IL, and I grew up in Chicago during the same time you grew up in Chicago.  My fifth grade class wrote to you in the 70’s and I read your books to all of my classroom students in the 45 years I taught.  You very kindly responded to the class (Harrison Street Elementary School in Geneva, IL) that wrote to you,  on a flattened White Castle hamburger cardboard carton, with food stains adorning the exterior.  The kids and I got a big kick out of the hamburger carton with your response, and we diaplayed it all year on the classroom bulletin board.  ( I still have that White Castle hamburger carton with your response written on it, in my many boxes of memorabilia!)

At a reading conference in the 1970’s (more than 500 people attended this conference) ,,,,the husband and wife team presenting the conference asked a trivia question, reading a quote from one of your books, and asked aloud if anyone knew the author of the quote.  I knew right away that you wrote this line in one of your books,  and answered the trivia question stating “the author is D. Pinkwater!!!”   The presenters were astounded that anyone knew the author, in fact in the twenty years they did this conference circuit,  they had never had anyone answer at all!!!!  

I want to sincerely thank you for all the books you have written and let you know the impact they had on all of my students.  I am also a fan of your creative writing style, and you and I are on the same wavelength as far as using imagination to reach and interest children, and get them sincerely interested in books.

From one Sargeant Schwartz fan to another,

Roger Parazaider

Daniel replies:

Isn't it wonderful that the reading conference presenters offered a quote from a book of mine as a trivia question, and FOR TWENTY years nobody recognized it, and they were astonished when you did....and yet I have had a career, paid my bills, hear from excellent readers who like my books? I have gotten to like the idea that only a few, only the best, readers have ever heard of me.