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Memorial Controversy Inspires New Teen Novel

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by Bailey Berg

A homecoming scandal that rocked Memorial High School during early 90s helped inspire a teen novel penned by 1994 Memorial grad Lara Zielin. Flash back to Memorial High School circa 1992, the school was garnering massive amounts of media attention – covered by The New York Times, People Magazine, and several talk show programs, including Oprah, Phil Donahue, Montel Williams, and Maury Povich – after school officials fixed an election to deny then-student April Schuldt, a girl who wore Gothic clothing, had dyed red hair, and was pregnant. Zielin’s new teen novel, titled The Implosion of Aggie Winchester, follows the similar storyline, chronicling the story of a young Goth girl, her mother’s cancer, and her pregnant best friend’s involvement in a homecoming scandal. Aggie Winchester is not Schuldt, Zielin says, but rather a fictionalized protagonist. This story marks Zielin’s second novel – her first entitled Donut Days, was about a high school girl growing up with evangelical parents – and third published book.

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