Saucy

Cynthia Kadohata

Book - 2020

When eleven-year-old Becca, a quadruplet, finds a sick piglet on the side of the road, her life is changed forever.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers [2020]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"A Caitlyn Dloughy book."
Physical Description
289 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Audience
Ages 8-12.
Grades 4-6.
ISBN
9781442412781
144241278X
9781442412798
1442412798
Main Author
Cynthia Kadohata (author)
Other Authors
Marianna Raskin (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Becca is one of four quadruplets, but while her brothers have found their passions—sports, music, and science—she feels more adrift. Longing for something to pour her heart into, she finds that opportunity in the form of an incredibly sick piglet, languishing roadside. Becca is smitten, and despite the obvious challenges in raising a pig in a busy home, she talks her parents into rescuing the poor critter. But how long can it last? And where did the irrepressible piglet, christened Saucy, actually come from? The story, tender and entertaining, finds excellent balance between the humor of a large pig in a small house and Becca's profound emotional awakenings. Her supportive and slightly chaotic family is a highlight, including a wheelchair-using brother who's never left out of the action. A late shift to a factory-farm rescue is somewhat jarring, though it offers an age-appropriate introduction to issues surrounding animal treatment. Overall, the high jinks are fresh and funny, and Becca's experiences and introspection beautifully encapsulate lessons in friendship, love, and the joy of family. Grades 4-7. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Eleven-year-old Becca, a quadruplet, believes herself a coward due to the way she treated a former friend. She also worries that she's the only one of her siblings without a specific interest. Bailey, who uses a wheelchair, composes music; Jammer plays hockey; and math- and science-minded K.C. "believed that they might all be living in a simulation." Everything changes, though, on a family walk through their Ohio town, when Becca finds and insists on saving a piglet sick with mange. Saucy, as she names the animal, is a small force of destruction, leaving ruined kitchen cabinets, screen doors, and gardens in her wake ("That pig is nuts. I like her," says Bailey). And Saucy is going to be big, likely to reach 600 pounds. Pictured in expressive black-and-white illustrations by Raskin, Becca and Saucy are the entertaining, delightful heart of this story featuring a close-knit family and a child considering the ramifications of cruelty and of healing. Newbery Medalist Kadohata (Kira-Kira) realistically portrays Becca's growth through rich internality, and her journey to loving herself and Saucy enough to give both what they need feels organic and true. Ages 8–12. (Sept.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 3–6—Eleven-year-old Becca is a quadruplet and the only one of her siblings who doesn't have a "thing." Jammer plays hockey, Bailey has his music, and KC thinks about the simulation he believes they're all living in. Then one night, while on a family walk, Becca notices something in the bushes: an abandoned, mangy, baby pig. No one knows where it came from, but overnight, Becca has found her purpose in caring for this pig. She names her Saucy, after the pig's attitude, and Becca is determined to make Saucy part of the family. But Saucy will grow to be 600 pounds, and a rapidly-growing, ever-hungry pig is a lot to handle in an already chaotic house. Kadohata excels at creating multidimensional characters who drive her stories. Becca is determined and cares deeply about her family, but she occasionally argues with her parents and siblings. Readers will relate to Becca's struggles with friendship and the worry she feels over leaving things unresolved with her best friend, who moved away after her mother was arrested. Ultimately, this is a redemptive story for Becca, who discovers that animals and people (herself included) are complex and worthy of second chances, and that while facing the truth can be tough, it will feel right. VERDICT Readers will love the zany antics brought on by raising a pig, but what makes this a must-read is Becca and her family, with all their love, flaws, and compassion.—Kristin Brynsvold, Tuckahoe Elem. Sch., Arlington, VA Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When eleven-year-old Becca, a quadruplet, finds a sick piglet on the side of the road, her life is changed forever.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

From Newbery Medalist and National Book Award'winning author Cynthia Kadohata comes an irrepressible and heartwarming story about a girl and her ever-growing pig, Saucy'perfect for fans of The One and Only Ivan and Flora & Ulysses!Being a quadruplet can make it hard to stand out from the crowd. Becca's three brothers all have something that makes them...them. Jake has his music and dancing, Jammer plays hockey, and K.C. thinks they're all living in a simulation and doesn't see the point of doing much of anything. Becca is the only one with nothing to make her special.But when she finds a tiny, sick piglet on the side of the road, Becca knows this is it. This is her thing. She names the piglet Saucy and between her own pleading and Saucy's sweet, pink face, Becca convinces her family to take her in. Soon, Saucy is as big a part of the family as anyone else'and getting bigger. With each pound Saucy gains, the more capable she becomes of destroying the house and landing Becca in trouble.Some tough decisions need to be made about Becca's pet, and her search for solutions brings to light exactly where Saucy came from. Turns out, there are a lot more scared piglets out there, and saving them may take Becca and her brothers finally doing something together.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

From Newbery Medalist and National Book Award–winning author Cynthia Kadohata comes an irrepressible and heartwarming story about a girl and her ever-growing pig, Saucy—perfect for fans of The One and Only Ivan and Flora & Ulysses!Being a quadruplet can make it hard to stand out from the crowd. Becca’s three brothers all have something that makes them...them. Jake has his music and dancing, Jammer plays hockey, and K.C. thinks they’re all living in a simulation and doesn’t see the point of doing much of anything. Becca is the only one with nothing to make her special.But when she finds a tiny, sick piglet on the side of the road, Becca knows this is it. This is her thing. She names the piglet Saucy and between her own pleading and Saucy’s sweet, pink face, Becca convinces her family to take her in. Soon, Saucy is as big a part of the family as anyone else—and getting bigger. With each pound Saucy gains, the more capable she becomes of destroying the house and landing Becca in trouble.Some tough decisions need to be made about Becca’s pet, and her search for solutions brings to light exactly where Saucy came from. Turns out, there are a lot more scared piglets out there, and saving them may take Becca and her brothers finally doing something together.