Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City

33914003Kendall, Jodi. The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City
October 3rd 2017 by HarperCollins
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Josie's large family lives in a small house in a city in central Ohio, and when her older brother Tom brings home a piglet at Thanksgiving, Josie is determined to keep Hamlet and save him from certain death. Her parents aren't thrilled, but are apparently worn down from dealing with five children, and tell her that she can keep the pig until the new year, but then has to find him a home. Josie thinks that if she can keep the pig that long, her parents will fall in love with him and let her keep him. She trains him to use a litter box, and he gets along quite well with the family dog. He's expensive, though, and needs lots of food and occasionally gets into trouble, such as ruining a neighbors plants and pots. Money is tight, and Josie also has a bill for her gymnastics club that is coming due. Not only that, but police visit the house and tell the family that it is illegal to keep livestock in the city. Her father's job is so tenuous that her parents return all of their Christmas gifts and decide that they'll have a handmade, Secret Santa style Christmas. When Josie finds out that the police have made arrangements for a pig farmer to take Hamlet away, Josie see this road ending in bacon, and launches a battle to save her beloved pet.
Strengths: This actually had more gymnastics in it than many books I've read, and I really need books about gymnastics! The family dynamics were interesting, and I know that my own personal daughter thinks pigs are adorable.
Weaknesses:This had to have been set in Columbus, but it seemed half a bubble off. This is probably because the author lives in New York City. I would think that anyone who lived in Columbus would understand that you couldn't have a regular pig in the city.
What I really think: Maddie's parents needed more back bone. I had a hard time believing they let Maddie keep the pig at all.

 I read this right after Mustaches for Maddie. If only the two books could be combined, and there was a gymnast who had a brain tumor, that would be perfect. Of course, that would leave us with a book about a 6th grade class doing Shakespeare and one of the cast members having a pig, which would be a REALLY hard sell!
Ms. Yingling

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