Updated: Jan 31
From a debut talent to watch for comes PIGHEARTED by Alex Perry (on sale: October 26, 2021; ISBN:9780316538770; Ages 8-12), a heart-warming story about the sacrifices we make for true friendship. For fans of classic animal stories like Charlotte's Web, Because of Winn-Dixie, and The One and Only Ivan, this charming tale is perfect for contemporary middle grade roundups.
In PIGHEARTED, Jeremiah’s heart skips a beat before his first soccer game, but it’s not nerves. It’s the first sign of a heart attack. He knows he needs to go to the hospital, but he’s determined to score a goal. Charging after the ball, he refuses to stop…even if his heart does. J6 is a
pig and the only one of his five brothers who survived the research lab. Though he's never left his cell, he thinks of himself as a therapy pig, a scholar, and a bodyguard. But when the lab sends him to live with Jeremiah's family, there’s one new title he’s desperate to have: brother.
At first, Jeremiah thinks his parents took in J6 to cheer him up. But soon, he begins to suspect there's more to his new curly-tailed companion than meets the eye. When the truth is revealed, Jeremiah and J6 must protect each other at all costs—their lives depend on it. With bighearted
emotional bonds, explored from the alternating perspectives of a boy with a fatal heart condition and the pig that could save his life, this book is bound to give anyone feels of love and hope.
Parents or educators will find this story useful for conversations surrounding ethics, morality, consent, and unlikely friendships. An intriguing and innovative concept—that is perfectly strange in the best way—readers will remain captivated until the very last page.
ALEX PERRY used to teach middle schoolers in Houston, but now she writes for kids everywhere. She currently lives in Arkansas with her family. Pighearted is her debut novel. She invites you to visit her at alexperrybooks.com or follow her on Twitter @Alextheadequate.
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