Read A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck Online

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Robert Newton Peck's novel of a Vermont farm boyhood has become a celebrated classic, captivating readers year after year with its quiet humor and poignant drama. It is the timeless story of one Shaker boy, his beloved pet pig, and the joys and hardships that mark his passage into manhood. A Day No Pigs Would Die is told in a unique and compelling voice, one with all the uRobert Newton Peck's novel of a Vermont farm boyhood has become a celebrated classic, captivating readers year after year with its quiet humor and poignant drama. It is the timeless story of one Shaker boy, his beloved pet pig, and the joys and hardships that mark his passage into manhood. A Day No Pigs Would Die is told in a unique and compelling voice, one with all the unadorned power of a Shaker hymn. Once hear, it is not soon forgotten....

Title : A Day No Pigs Would Die
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780679853060
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 150 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Day No Pigs Would Die Reviews

  • Stacy
    2018-12-03 10:19

    A Day No Pigs Would Die is a book about a Shaker boy, Robert Peck, growing up in Vermont in a poor family. He skips school, and while playing hookie, comes upon a neighbor's cow in the woods who is struggling to give birth. Robert helps the calf be born, but also discovers that the cow is struggling to breathe because of something in its throat, which he manages to remove (turns out to be a goiter), saving its life. Out of gratitude, the neighbor gives Robert a baby pig, that Robert comes dearly to love. The book is the tale of a boy, on the verge of becoming a man, and some difficult, painful lessons that he learns. I really enjoyed this book, with its quaint local dialect and phrasing-- so did my son as I read it aloud to him on our errands.This book was read for https://twogalsandabook.com/ Alphabet Challenge letter "D".

  • Alayna
    2018-12-12 11:30

    This book has stayed with me for over 20 years and read it again tonight and cried just as hard as I did when I read it for the first time as a child. It's a horribly sad, yet beautiful story. As an adult, I found the relationships more touching than I did when I read it as a child. The heartbreak was felt, though in different ways. I don't know how old I want my children to be when they read this book, but they will read it one day.

  • VeronikaSprague
    2018-11-29 14:13

    Many readers don't like A Day No Pigs Would Die because of its religious connotations and its "sexism." Personally, I loved it because it depicts real life in all its glory...and its gruesomeness. Robert is a young boy who learns the reality of life's hardships - the necessity of doing the hard things, the joys of the little things, the truth about making decisions and becoming a man. Though I'm female, I could sympathize with Robert's maturing into an adult and coming face to face with the truths that parents so often try to spare us from. I especially enjoyed the character of Robert's father who, though perhaps traditional and sometimes overbearing, is the silent hero of the book, the man who has learned life the hard way and seeks to still create a safe place for his wife and son. This book is about realizing that your parents don't have it all together, that they are smarter than you realized, that they often do everything they do for you, and that you too will have to make the tough decisions like they have. It's a fantastic family/coming-of-age story, and one I will probably revisit in the future. I also can't wait to delve into Peck's other works, though none, I doubt, are as compellingly real and moving as this book, which, it turns out, is actually semi-autobiographical.

  • HeavyReader
    2018-12-04 12:08

    I didn't read this book as a young adult, but I recently read it as an old adult. This is one sad story. It could also go on the "I had to face the death of my beloved pet" shelf with Old Yeller andWhere the Red Fern Grows . At least the kids who loved those dogs didn't have to eat them.

  • Linda
    2018-11-20 08:26

    I came across this book after doing some research (for my current novel) on junior high required reading lists, and thought I'd try it. I finished it last night, and found myself horrified that junior high students might actually be required to struggle through it. Billed as a sweet little farm tale, or a coming-of-age story of a Vermont Shaker boy, there were elements that absolutely appalled me. First let me say that I am a farm woman, used to the gritty details of farm life, and in fact, I usually enjoy reading about them. But this was not so much a story, as one man's memoir of an obviously horrid time in his life. The first half of this book is almost as benign as Babe or Charlotte's Web, with homespun wisdom and a boy frolicking with his pig. But some of the details in the second half were not only gruesome, but in some cases just ignorant and brutal. Sorry, but I can't imagine how reading this book today, in this world, would further a thirteen-year-old's education.For historical coming-of-age novels regarding the death of a beloved animal, there are much better ones to recommend: Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson, Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls, or The Yearling, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. For a more recent coming-of-age book depicting the hardships of ranch life (as well as dads away at war) I'd heartily recommend Heart of a Shepherd, by Rosanne Parry.Please, if we are going to require students to read certain books, let's give them books they can actually relate to, with at least some sensibility into subject matter, and try to instill in them a love of reading - not make them hate it.

  • Dora Okeyo
    2018-11-21 15:19

    "A Farmer's heart is rabbit soft, and a farmer's eyes are blue.But a farmer's eyes are eagle fierceand look a man right through."That's what caught my attention. It has a powerful beginning and it sums up what the book is all about. I loved reading this book, because everything is told from the perspective of a child-who turns thirteen after his Father's death. Their neighbor, Mr. Tanner tells him at thirteen is when a boy becomes a man, and he yearns for his Father love and guidance, but all he's left with are the lessons he was taught, the Shaker way.Robert-the main character is witty-and also determined-he almost loses his arm in the beginning as he tends to Mr. Tanner's cow that's delivering calves. It is a short read, but full of emotion and you can't help but admire Robert's honesty both in wanting to get better grades in English and also grow to be a better man as his Father would expect of him. You can't help but pity him, for it seems as though a whole lot of responsibility is thrust on him, but like every child, he looks for a way out and that's what makes him such a profound character.I do wish the story was longer and that more of his relationship with his Mother was brought to light-but it still makes a good read. It makes you value any relationship between a boy and his Father.I haven't read any other works by Robert Newton Peck, but after reading this, am looking out for "A Part of the Sky" and "Weeds in Bloom."It is a good read, very honest, witty and true. You cannot help but fall in love with Robert's honesty and curiousity and also how he observes things around him, it makes you want to read another book in which Robert is the main character.

  • Heidi
    2018-12-13 10:37

    This book reflects the traditional roles for men and women that existed in farming communities of that time.Any person who thinks that this book is sexist is an IDIOT!This book is very depressing and somewhat graphic in certain ways. I never thought that this was an appropriate book for young children.It is nice to know that real life is always so sunny and so wonderful. This book certainly doesn't reflect how wonderful and how perfect life in this country really is. I guess that is why there are so many suicides and so many attempted suicides in this country. That said, I will again say that I never thought this was an appropriate book for young children. As a matter of fact, I think adults in general would enjoy it more.Now to go on to say this is one of my favorite novels of all time. This is a book that if I am depressed or upset it really makes me feel better to read it.I think this book is incredibly well written. The fact that it is really more non-fiction than fiction makes it better. I love this book. It is one of the three best novels that I have ever read in my life.

  • Joy
    2018-11-27 09:32

    This was a sweet coming-of-age story about a Shaker boy in Vermont and "his acceptance of faith, death, and the hard work of wresting a life from the land." In the course of a year, the 13-year-old takes onthe role of the man in his family. There were some down-home phraseslike: "Let's all put on the feed bag." "He'll stand without hitching" (super compliment). Also lots of wisdom: "Never miss a chance to keep your mouth shut." "Why tell people what they don't want to hear?" "A man's worship counts for naught, unless his dog and cat are better for it." One of the funniest accounts was of the Baptists. "I'd heard about the Baptists from Jacob Henry's mother. According to her, Baptists were a strange lot. They put you in water to see how holy you were. Then they ducked you under the water three times. Didn't matter a whit if you could swim or no. If you didn't come up, you got dead, and your mortal soul went to hell. But if you did come up, it was even worse. You had to be a Baptist." This was another classic forteens that was well written and just sweet. 1972 was a good year forbooks -- and marriage (mine).

  • Joanne
    2018-12-10 16:22

    I am amazed at many of the negative opinions regarding this book. It is very well written, the author balances humor with realism and emotional content. Although there are some disturbing scenes, they are not fictional violence, but a part of the life of the time and place. My book club read this as adults and many of them were more upset at the scenes than the students who read the book. Sometimes as adults we seem to read more into things than children do. Weasling the dogs was very hard for most adults, but many of the kids took it in stride. The only thing they had problems with was "parsing" a sentence. After explaining that it was like "diagramming" a sentence, they really enjoyed that scene. As both adults and students we questioned the Shaker connection because the Shakers with which we are familiar did not marry and lived in communities. I think this is an excellent book and would recommend it as a good read for anyone interested in young adult/children's fiction. However, have some tissues handy.

  • Jennie
    2018-11-23 10:21

    Although overall I enjoyed the book, I felt it would be somewhat challenging for younger readers. Pinky’s rape scene is quite brutal, and although there is some truth to the grotesquerie of animal husbandry- I found it a bit gruesome. Also there is quite a bit of sexism, which I found unpleasant, especially in the assumption that Pinky will be better now that she has been raped. Also the Shaker values are historically inaccurate in many ways rendering the text useless to a history class.

  • Jeremy
    2018-12-17 09:20

    Boy, nothing like starting out a kids book with ripping a goiter out of cow's neck. My reading teacher read this aloud in class. More like A Day No Kids Would Eat. Normally I really enjoy horrifically downbeat "young adult" books from this era, but this book and I never really hit it off. Give me good ol' Robert Cormier or M.E. Kerr anyday.

  • Philip
    2018-11-22 12:10

    *A spoiler or two ahead, but nothing (in my mind) that warrants spoiler tags.I remember reading this book when I was in 7th grade, and liking it then. It's one of those books from Junior High that stuck with me - like To Build a Fire (7th grade), Hatchet (8th grade), To Kill a Mockingbird, (9th grade)...I liked it then, but the chapters I remembered most (and found horrifying) were not the chapters that stuck out to me this time. ...I had remembered the weaseling, in particular.Instead of writing about Rob's coming of age, and learning that growing up is doing what needs to be done, I'm going to focus on the weirdest and most (truly) horrifying chapter in the book: chapter eight.Before chapter 8, the book is all, pig, pig, pig, pig, pig, pig, pig. Getting the pig, naming the pig, building the pig a house, raising the pig... The pig touches on everything. And after chapter 8, we're right back to the pig: taking the pig to the fair, showing the pig, aiming for some cute little piglets... But rest assured, although Pinky wasn't featured, there was a pig introduced in this chapter.There in the middle of the book we have this cryptic chapter 8. Middle of the night, pouring rain. Thunder, lightening. A light in the barn and Rob hears voices. Mrs. Hillman's come in, telling Rob's mom something that Rob can't decipher. Rob goes back to bed, but gets called down to help. He ends up going to the town graveyard, where a Sebring Hillman is digging up a woman who died by suicide, as well as her infant. Rob's pacifist, Shaker father takes his gun with him to the graveyard to dissuade (unspoken intimidation?) Sebring, but ends up helping him. One gets the impression that young Rob didn't really catch what was going on. He's writing about it reflectively as an adult, now understanding it.And rest assured as a middle schooler, I didn't pick up on a lot of the chapter either. I don't even remember it being in the book, but it's weird. A crazed man digging up an infant corpse in the middle of a rainy night?Let me quickly unravel what's happened: Sebring's wife is sick, so they hire Haven's young cousin to help around the farm. Sebring sneaks her into the barn, where they have sex - and presumably this happens often. From her sick bed window Sebring's wife could see their comings and goings. Letty (the girl) gets pregnant, has the child, drowns it, then hangs herself - presumably from shame. The town asks the father to step forward, but no one does.Sebring (who knows how long later) finally feels the guilt, has gone back in the dead of night - so does he really want to make ammends? - to dig up the baby and bury it on his land as one of his own children.Haven doesn't want his cousin's grave disturbed, but agrees to let Sebring take the baby back to his land.They get the body and head home, a trip which Sebring - now free of his guilt - seems to enjoy: "I want so much breakfast it'll bust britches and crack floors. I never felt so good in a long time" Once home, he has a nice cup of hot coffee and says, "Let's go home, May," to his wife, who is silent.I can't imagine a junior high kid piecing together this chapter. But here it is: this chapter encapsulates the tension between duty and shirked responsibility. The big lesson of Rob's coming of age story is this: "That's what being a man is all about, boy. It's just doing what needs to be done." Sebring is Haven's foil. When does he do what needs to be done? He's shirked his responsibility to his wife. He's shirked his responsibility to his lover, and their child. He's shirked his responsibility to the town. Only now, in the dead of night, is he willing to fess up to what he's done. His absolution is certainly not absolute, though he appears to feel like it is.Haven, on the other hand, forgives him. He helps him retrieve the baby and fill in the grave. He returns him to his disgraced wife and feeds him breakfast. Haven, as a neighbor, had a responsibility to his irresponsible neighbor. He just does what needs to be done. Always.A part of the chapter that shouldn't be overlooked comes early. May Hillman is talking to Rob's mom, "...and don't think I don't know where. Spade and all, I saw him go. He picked a night like this so nobody'd see him rile her grave. I know."Although her husband never owned up, she knew he was the father. And she went to the Peck's. And without being told, they knew he was the father. From this, a reader can infer that everyone knew. But Sebring still held to his delusion that no one knew. And the fact that May told the Peck's straight up, "I know" suggests that she not only knew, but knew that everyone else knew as well, and that she knew they were tiptoeing around her. Nobody talked about it in order to make their existence bearable. How depressing is that?We pick up different things when we read books at different times in our lives. At this point in my life, I don't remember what I thought of this chapter when I was in seventh grade. But I know my opinion now. Although Pinky weighed 400 lbs, Sebring Hillman was the biggest pig in this book.

  • Eric Oppen
    2018-12-02 11:27

    This was the only book I ever rebelled against. In ninth grade, we were given it to read, and after a few pages, I closed it and said I'd read no more. This was unprecedented behavior for me, since I was normally quite docile vis-a-vis my teachers; open rebellion was unheard of. My teacher knew me well, and asked me why I had said I wouldn't read it. After class, I took him to the library, hauled down the "S" volume of the encyclopedia, and opened it to the article about the Shakers.Unlike the "Shaker" family in this book, real Shakers lived (and live) in communal manner, rather like a co-ed monastery...and they D-O N-O-T H-A-V-E S-E-X, much less families! I asked: "If this author couldn't be bothered to do five minutes' worth of homework before writing this "autobiographical" novel, why should I read it?Other errors include things like dates. Peck was born a long time after the Shakers had all but died out, so if this is based on his own boyhood, he must come from an alternate history. And a real farmer would know perfectly well when a pig was in heat, and not bother introducing the boar until that time, leaving one of the most lurid passages condemned as unnecessary cruelty.

  • Abbe
    2018-11-28 10:28

    Review “Reading this book is like sipping hot cider in front of a crackling potbellied stove. Every page is suffused with wit and charm and glowing with warmth.”–Newsweek“A lovely book. . . . Honest, moving, homely in the warm and simple sense of the word. . . . It is small, accepting and loving and it succeeds perfectly.”–Boston Globe“You’ll find yourself caught up in the novel’s emotion from the very opening scene. . . . Love suffuses every page.”–*The New York Times"With plenty of Yankee common sense and dry wit, and some pathos as the boy at 13 takes on the duties of a man. For boys of this age and for the young of any age."--School Library Journal. * Product Description Originally published in hardcover in 1972, A Day No Pigs Would Die was one of the first young adult books, along with titles like The Outsiders and The Chocolate War. In it, author Robert Newton Peck weaves a story ofa Vermont boyhood that is part fiction, part memoir. The result is a moving coming-of-age story that still resonates with teens today.

  • Reader Extraordinaire
    2018-12-16 14:11

    I read this book when I was very young. This book, Charlotte's Web and Summer of My German Soldier were the first three books I ever read cover to cover. This was the absolute first. I never believed that I could read a book all the way to the end until I read this book. To me, when I was in 4th grade, a book was an intimidating thing. I also did not believe in my own abilities. This book changed my way of thinking towards books. I discovered that reading was fun and entertaining and that books could be adventures. This book however is not just for kids. This is an excellent book with some pretty big themes. Check it out. It is short. A quick read but worth every second.

  • Dustin
    2018-11-30 09:09

    Whoa, I'm almost 100% certain that I read this in either the eight or ninth grade, and I loved it then. I'm curious if I'll love it now. Seems like I've been searching for the title of this book for years, and as soon as it popped up in a search, I knew instantly that I'd found it. Funny how that happens, isn't it?:)

  • Karen
    2018-11-26 10:28

    I read this novel when I was in my early teens solely because it was banned from the school library. Nothing made me want to read a book more than when it was banned, so I immediately borrowed a copy from the public library. I remember that I loved the story, but I could not recall all that much about it. I decided to read it aloud to my son and I am so glad I did. It is now one of his favorite books.I am a bit perplexed why it was ever banned, as well as why some readers denounce the book because of "animal cruelty." This is a story of life on a Vermont farm in the 1930's. Life is cruel at times. I have no doubt that most of the events actually did happen since the story is semi-autobiographical. That is why I loved reading it.

  • Philip
    2018-11-23 15:28

    I wasn't sure if I should put this on my "memoirs" shelf as well, asRobert Peck uses his own name, along with those of his father, mother, etc... However, it's catagorized as "historical fiction." Any thoughts on this anyone?I haven't read this book since high school and junior high school, but thought I would pick it up again because, well because it's been so long.I found the dialogue in chapter three very similar toRobert Frost 's poem The Mending Wall Yes, good fences make good neighbors.I also saw a greater love in the father's deer hunt. I remember this being mentioned when I read it for class ("so many years ago") but I guess I thought about it more this time around.

  • Sumit Singla
    2018-12-19 13:21

    A great coming of age story about young Rob Peck, a 12-year old kid. I can imagine why people are criticizing this book - some disturbing scenes involving animal slaughter, 'rape' and what may be perceived as sexism.However, the story is poignant and moving, and seems to convey the realities of a boy on the verge of becoming a man. Due to sheer chance, Rob gets to own Pinky, a cute little pig who becomes his best friend ever. From then on, life changes and culminates in Rob's coming of age.Beautifully narrated, this book has me wanting to know more about Rob's struggles on his farm.

  • Taylor Guffey
    2018-11-24 14:22

    This was one of my fifth grade teacher's favorite books, and I can see why. I was more interested in this book when I found out that the whole story is true--sort of an autobiographical account or memoir. I wouldn't recommend this to just anyone because it has a lot of farm terminology, but marrying into a farming family made this book hilarious to me. I can definitely see how it would be a great read for the reluctant readers in rural areas.

  • Art
    2018-12-06 11:20

    A boy becoming a man and the women who help and shape him.Farm life.Tough decisions especially w/living animals.Reminded me the things and chores I had to do on our Family farm in Pennsylvania and Minnesota.Life w/animals and how we butchered, cut wood, milched the cows, baled hay and other farm related work.I felt that I was there, working along side the Peck family on their Vermont farm.

  • Jaret
    2018-12-09 14:10

    This was a realistic depiction of coming of age on a Shaker farm in Vermont. Peck described all the ins and outs of farm life, and some of it was pretty hard for me to take at times. I'll admit to bawling my eyes out at the ending. This book was very well-written, but I'd have liked one more chapter. We got to see Robert become a man in the eyes of his neighbors. I'd have liked to see his new journey start.

  • Laura
    2018-11-22 09:33

    I had to read this in middle school. It was disgusting and disturbing because all I remember is one pig screaming and bleeding as the male mated with her. Sick. I didn't grow up on a farm or ever see animals mating, so I always assumed it was a quiet ordeal. Thanks to this book, I learned that it isn't.

  • Silk
    2018-12-17 09:22

    Read this in junior high school, and liked it, that's about all I remember, except for it has one of the most disgusting introductions to a story ever. Almost put me off reading the rest of it. But interesting story about a farm boy in a different time, in a not TOO distant past.

  • Jessie
    2018-12-10 08:37

    [This isn't really explicitly spoilery, but you could probably guess a lot of what happens in the book by what I write.]I didn't like this book very much until I got to the last few chapters, which, considering the brutal violence of them, I probably should have hated most. I am not sure I would recommend this book to an actual child--though it is told in simple language and its narrator is twelve years old for the majority of the book, it's a little rough content-wise. (Though, my favorite book when I was ten was Where the Red Fern Grows, which is plenty violent, and plenty full of the harsh realities of rural poverty and farm life.) I think it could be a good book for a young adult reader who is looking for something thematically challenging but very readable. I like to skim other reviews before I write my own, and I noticed that some people took issue with what they saw as excessive violence. I found these scenes disturbing as an adult, but I don't think everything should be pleasant to read*, and without them, this book wouldn't really mean much. Our protagonist, Robert, was born into a very harsh life, and his journey from childhood to adulthood must necessarily involve a confrontation with the life he is to lead, with all its privations and its violence. I think Peck does a good job of modulating this harshness, not by turning away from any of it, but by representing the inner turmoil of his characters, especially the narrator's. Robert recoils from much of the violence, but he also has an earnest desire to be a good farmer, a good neighbor, and a good man. In his struggle to reconcile his natural gentleness with the reality of his place in the world, he comes to understand that his gentle heart can exist inside a body whose hands and arms do violence to other creatures, and that these parts of him can coexist. He comes to a similar understanding about his father. He wants to hate his father because of what his father has to do, but he also reveres him and wants to make him proud. He sees the same seemingly contradictory gentleness and violence in his father--his father who slaughters pigs for a living but touches him with tenderness. When Robert recognizes that his father has to walk the same line he feels himself struggling to negotiate, he understands what he himself can become. At the end of the book, he steps into his father's shoes with courage and strength, his father's calm and practical approach to every task having become his own: "Rob," his mother says in the last chapter, "I'm glad we've got you to handle things. I couldn't of done it alone." "Yes, you could, Mama," Robert replies. "When you're the only one to do something, it always gets done."Apparently this book also does not accurately reflect what it means to be a Shaker, which I suppose isn't so good, considering it makes much of "Shaker values." Regardless of whether the values are truly Shaker values, they feel authentic to the time and place, and they have a resonance beyond that. Robert's father stresses the value of reason and practicality, disdains material wealth and instead considers himself wealthy in family and in spirit, is humble and generous, and doesn't like to be in debt to others. While the book pokes some fun at education (Robert's aunt absurdly insisting that he attempt to diagram a sentence, for example), the importance of Robert's education is clear: because he can read and write, he will have more opportunities, will be more respected by others, and will be able to more fully participate in civic life. My favorite piece of advice Robert receives from his father, however, is this line: "Never miss a chance to keep your mouth shut." "The more I studied on it," Robert reflects, "the sounder it grew." Wise words.I think this is a book that will stick with me for a long time. It's told so simply that a lot of the really gut-wrenching things about it almost slip by with barely a mention. Like this paragraph, on the second-to-last page: "At chore time, I pailed Daisy. Fed, watered, cleaned, and put down fresh straw. Then I ate supper with Aunt Carrie and Mama. There wasn't much to eat, except beans. And we'd lived on those all winter. Beans and pork. And none of it was easy to swallow." That "and none of it was easy to swallow" is the only sentiment Robert permits himself on that topic. Which says so much about his character, and, to me, is more powerful than an entire chapter devoted to his grief. And, despite all of the awful things Robert has to experience and do, the book is also suffused with his appreciation for beauty, the joy he takes in small pleasures, and his pride in his work and his family. Toward the end of the book, looking at his father's tools hanging on the wall, Robert describes them as "gilded by work" where his father's hands have worn away the dark brown finish on the handles, turning them gold. It's a beautiful image, and an eloquent metaphor for the way Robert views his father's life.*Philip Pullman, whose work I'm moving onto next, said something like, "No one has the right to spend their lives without being offended." Salman Rushdie said something similar before him. I think this is a wonderful sentiment, especially to keep in mind as a reader. It's the job of a writer to offend your sensibilities, to shake you up a little. Good stories should sometimes disturb you or make you uncomfortable or ask questions you don't really want answered.

  • Brianna Preston
    2018-12-08 15:28

    This book opened with a scene that made me truly laugh out loud. I loved the colloquial language of the 12 year old narrator throughout the book. Despite his plain upbringing and meager education, he also had an inborn sense of poet in him, and it came through when he would describe the way a certain sunset made him feel. This book broke my heart. Goshdarnit, I don't usually like to have my heart broken. Who does? But this book broke it for all the right reasons. There was so much love in this book--love that was held back and unspoken, and that was part of what made my heart fit to burst. There is some mild language in the book, and there are some things that are not appropriate for younger readers. I would recommend prereading this before allowing your children to read it. As an adult, however, YOU should read it. Absolutely. And when your child is old enough to handle it, they should read it, and you should have a wonderful conversation about it.

  • Rachel Ramirez
    2018-12-11 12:24

    This is one of my favorite mandatory school reads I read in middle school. The story was engaging with Northeastern life and Quaker beliefs that I found fascinating since it is vastly different from my life. Funny enough this book was how I found out about the Quaker Oats Man being of the Quaker in this book. I think everyone should read this book at least once in their life since it shows how wonderful a the family dynamic was and how deep a love for pets can go. It is also very funny to read. I laughed out loud so many times my family kept asking me what I was laughing at.

  • Rachel Ramirez
    2018-12-09 09:24

    Lincoln Hoppe might be the best narrator that I have ever listened to! He brings a great sense of humor and feeling to this story, which I already loved from reading during my middle school days. Some people don't get the sense of humor from reading this book but Mr. Hoppe solves that problem. He differentiates the voices so well that he needs to teach classes so other narrators know how to do the same thing.

  • Gretchen
    2018-12-19 14:28

    I never read this book as a child or a young adult, but have always heard mixed reviews. I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 only because of the very sad ending. Overall, I loved the book. It's a coming of age story about Robert, the only surviving son of a Shaker farming family in Vermont. Robert, the main character, is 12 years old when the story begins and we find Robert assisting in the birth of a calf and ultimately helping the poor cow live after removing a goiter from her throat. I found Robert's actions to be mature beyond his age and sacrificial. Robert ended up being mauled by the cow and suffered greatly because of his selfless actions towards the helpless animal. As a reward for his efforts, the owners of the cow, who were his neighbors, gave him a piglet and named one of the calves (2 were born) after him. Robert and the pig, which he named Pinky, became fast friends. Robert traveled with his neighbors to the county fair, where he showed Pinky and the two calves and got to experience great pride in winning a blue ribbon for Pinky as Best Behaved Pig. In all of Robert's interactions with adults in the story, he is well-mannered, inquisitive and polite. He is charming, responsible and mature while still enjoying the simple pleasures of country life. There are some brutal scenes in the book involving animals and some have criticized the book for graphic representations of these. While they were hard to read, this was life on a farm during this period of time and reality for many. Pinky was forcibly sired by a boar and some have claimed it was a "rape scene." Really?? These are animals. In another scene, a dog was maimed by a weasel after Robert's father thought it was a good idea to have them fight it out in order to foster a fighting spirit in the dog. Well, the dog did fight, but was maimed so badly, it had to be shot. Not easy reading material. The very sad ending occurs when Pinky, who was barren, was butchered so that the family could survive. I knew it was going to happen, but it was still difficult and I found myself shedding some tears. There was quite a bit of foreshadowing, as Robert's father admitted to the boy that he was sick and thought he would die soon. Well, he did die soon after the slaughter of Pinky. Robert had recently turned 13 years old at the time of his father's death and now was thought of as a man. The story ended soon thereafter with Robert taking over the family farm.For all of the sadness in the book, I felt that it was balanced with joy, humor and a family's love for each other.

  • Kristen
    2018-11-18 14:09

    I picked up A Day No Pigs Would Die from our old bookshelf in the basement last weekend when I went home. I couldn’t remember hearing anything about it, and had no idea if it was worth reading, but the tattered cover and faded pages seemed to whisper that I try it out. I’m so glad I did. The book follows a young 12-year-old boy named Robert who is growing up on a rural farm in Vermont. A Day No Pigs Would Die is one of those books you experience, not just read. It left me changed in a quiet subtle way. As the Boston Globe wrote, “A lovely book….honest, moving, homely in a warm and simple sense of the word….It isn’t trying to move mountains and it has no quarrel with life…” This book truly is simple. It doesn’t try to teach any earth-shattering themes, but still I found myself laughing so hard I couldn’t breath one minute, and wiping a steady stream of tears away at the end of the book. It simply captures the essence of growing up, learning to take responsibility, and facing the hard facts of life. It is a real, down to earth, and beautifully written book. I fell in love with the funny metaphors they use in this book such as “true as a taproot,” “simple as beans,” and “big as August.” Even though some of them didn’t make sense, this would be a great book to use to teach metaphors and similes and to talk about which ones are effective and which are not. This would be a great book to use during a unit about different dialects or vernacular language. There is so much bad grammar in this book, but it is what makes the book so endearing. I read this book with a dear friend on a road trip last week and we read most of it aloud in an accent suggested by the written language. It was absolutely delightful. It reminded me of the importance of reading aloud, as Mem Fox suggests in her book Radical Reflections. It made the characters and setting spring to life and gave them such a richer context. This would be a wonderful book to read aloud bit by bit to a classroom. It does have a couple swear words in it and talks quite frankly about animals being mated, but I think it would still be appropriate for a classroom setting. I think boys or girls would love this book, and probably any age level. I think this is simple enough that a middle schooler could enjoy it, but still capturing enough that a high schooler would enjoy it too. The only issue with the middle school age is that some of the vernacular language might be difficult for them to get through and understand. This was a beautiful, touching book I would definitely recommend.