Saving Marty by Paul Griffin (2017, Dial Books; 208 pages)
This is a delightfully tender and heartbreaking story about a pig who thinks he's a dog and a boy who needs a friend. The boy is eleven-year-old Lorenzo Ventura. He actually goes by “Renzo” instead of Lorenzo. He would never describe himself as a hero, because a hero is someone rare like his father, who died in the war, or his friend Paloma Lee, who fearlessly pursues her dream of being a famous musician. But one day, Renzo decides to adopt Marty, a runt piglet, and suddenly he understands that heroes come in every size and shape.
Marty the piglet thinks he is a dog and acts like one too. Renzo and Marty become one. But Marty, of course, is a pig, and pigs grow. One day he is almost 350 pounds, and Renzo's family starts worrying, especially after Marty causes an unfortunate, dangerous and expensive accident. Renzo worries too, but for different reasons. He understands that his friend's time at home may be up and he knows he'd do anything and everything to keep him alive. The question is, will everything be enough to save him?
This book arrived as an advance copy, and it is a jewel. Animal lovers will melt in it, with it, for it. Beautifully written by Paul Griffin, Saving Marty manages to embrace a heartrending story with a hopeful one in this tale about the power of friendship and the unsung heroes all around us. Recommended for kids 10 years old and up, and adults with a deep love for animals.
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Recommended by: Maite