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A Day No Pigs Would Die Paperback – June 1, 1990


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Paperback, June 1, 1990
$8.00
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 139 pages
  • Publisher: Laure Leaf (June 1990)
  • ISBN-10: 9993414107
  • ISBN-13: 978-9993414100
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (331 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,785,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.


From the Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Out of a rare American tradition, sweet as hay, grounded in the gentle austerities of the Book of Shaker, and in the Universal countryman's acceptance of birth, death, and the hard work of wresting a life from the land comes this haunting novel of a Vermont farm boyhood.

In the daily round of his thirteenth year, as the seasons turn and the farm is tended, the boy -- whose time is the only-yesterday of Calvin Coolidge, whose people are the Plain People living without "frills" in the Shaker Way -- becomes a man.

That is all, and it is everything. The boy is mauled by Apron, the neighbor's ailing cow whom he helps, alone, to give birth. The grateful farmer brings him a gift -- a newborn pig. His father at first demurs ("We thank you, Brother Tanner," said Papa, "but it's not the Shaker Way to take frills for being neighborly. All that Robert done was what any farmer would do for another") but is persuaded. Rob keeps the pig, names her, and gives her his devotion ... He wrestles with grammar in the schoolhouse. He hears rumors of sin. He is taken -- at last -- to the Rutland Fair. He broadens his heart to make room even for Baptists. And when his father, who can neither read nor cipher, whose hands are bloodied by his trade, whose wisdom and mastery of country things are bred in the bone, entrusts Rob with his final secret, the boy makes the sacrifice that completes his passage into manhood.

All is told with quiet humor and simplicity. Here are lives lived by earthy reason -- in a novel that, like a hoedown country fiddler's tune, rings at the same time with both poignancy and cheer. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This book made me laugh, think, and cry.
Meg
First of all, I thought this book was VERY graphic and sad.
Katie
I read this book when I was about 10, over 20 years ago.
"jgsladcik"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By T. Leach VINE VOICE on October 24, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Simply stated, this is a good book. I am curious to see that it seems to have generated strong negative responses, but these are understandable. It is marketed as a young adult book, and the realism of some of the scenes does strike me as a bit graphic for young people. I remember reading it in the 7th grade and being moved. I read it again to my young children, and did find that I needed to do some heavy editing on the fly (I did not think that my kids needed the full "mating" scene, and in my version Pinky is traded away and a certain unnamed pig gets a less graphic slaughtering). I think that the warnings to sensitive readers are well-founded, but this book is worthy of the praise that it has received. There are other tough scenes throughout the book, but these all end up producing an accurate picture of human civilization before the age of packaged meat and pampered living. Know that it deals with matters of life, death, and husbandry with a no-nonsense approach, but also through the eyes of a sympathetic character who is simply learning what life demands of him.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It's always a joy to "find" a treasure. This book is a treasure. It was 'loaned' to me by my 12 year old daughter (almost 13, going on 35) after she had finished it for her English class. She didn't like the ending. I did. This book is true in every sense of the word. The actions and emotions and nuances are exactly Shaker and Vermont and turn-of-the-century rural. Rob's life is quite similar to my life as a child 35 years ago in rural Pennsylvania. I was born into a farm family and life, though hard, was really good. Yes, even after my father died when I was nine. I had my grandparents there as it was a multi-generational farm. Especially my grandfather who truly loved farming and gifted me with that love. The values are as important today as they were in Rob's time or in my time. Responsibility. Trust. Joy in a job well done and joy in the beauty of God's wonderful world. The truths that quality (and wealth) is not in things, it is in each of us, how we treat eachother, the largly unspoken respect given by family, friends and neighbors, and that being tired from a hard day's work feels good inside and out. Even the bumps and bruises. (Never get between an Angus cow and her calf, they can be as feisty as any Holstein!) The language and flow is also true and easy. I will add this to my collection and I will encourage my 16 year old son to read it and my toddler, when he's ready. And we will all talk about it.
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful By third time mom on February 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I know this review will be lost in the hundreds of others left here but I have strong reservations about this book and if one person reads my review and is simply made aware of some of the books content then my job is done.

If you aren't familar with the plot, Boy is given pig, pig becomes beloved pet, boy's father must kill pet pig. I'd be okay with my 10 year old reading that type of general material.

However, there is a *very* graphic pig mating scene (let's call a spade a spade, it was pig rape) that is inappropriate for *my* child. It could have been handled far more gently instead of graphically describing the pig's screams and bleeding as the stud pig attempts to breed with her, description of the boy pigs engorged genitalia as it pumps away at the girl pig, inclusion of the boy pig's owner saying something to the effect of "next time she'll be beggin for it"...That scene in itself is enough to keep this book off my daughter's reading list until she's a little older, maybe she'll be ready by age 12 but not any earlier.

The other scene that generates controversy is the scene where the beloved pet is butchered. Yes that's very sad and even kind of gross but I would have still let my 10 year old read it.

There is a lot of good in this book. It will really make the reader think. The base story of a boy becoming a man is solid and for the most part well written. I wish there was a way of writing a review without indicating starts because there *is* so much good in this book but I couldn't bring myself to give it 4 or 5 stars. Wonderful book for a 15 year old. Just not appropriate for under 12 years.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anne on November 20, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have always been an avid reader. I was probably about 12 years old when I read this book. What a tearjerker. I remember how this very lonely child and his pet pig spent long days together. They were best friends and his pig was like a dog to him. I was just reading the part about his pet's demise and in total disbelief about his father's lack of compassion,when my sister and my best friend entered the room and asked what was wrong. I was sobbing so hard I couldn't even speak, and when I was finally able to explain it to them, they giggled. I am now in my 50's and have been a vegetarian for a very long time. This book put a cute, pink face on our food, a food which I can live without. I will never forget this story, though.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "jgsladcik" on November 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I read this book when I was about 10, over 20 years ago. It was the only book I re-read as a child and it affected me the same way both times- I cried at the end! This is a powerful story with strong values to carry the reader through the rough times at the end. The reader is really forced to look back on all they've learned in the early chapters of the book and hold on to it for the rocky ending. A tough read, but a great exercise in dealing with powerful issues for children.
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