cover image The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City

The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City

Jodi Kendall. Harper, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-248453-6

Eleven-year-old Josie Shilling immediately falls in love with the piglet her college-age brother, Tom, rescues and brings home at Thanksgiving. She recruits her friends to persuade her family that the pig, named Hamlet, should stay permanently at the Shillings’ cramped city home in Ohio. But it isn’t long before Josie realizes that although her family loves Hamlet, the city isn’t where he belongs; simultaneously, she comes to see that her future in gymnastics may be fleeting and that another interest might be as rewarding. The members of the large, chaotic Shilling family are full of entertaining quirks and idiosyncrasies, but it’s the growing understanding between the Josie and her sisters that steals the show, particularly her recognition that one of her older sisters, Sarah, feels just as lonely and overlooked as she does. Debut author Kendall’s treatment of the more mature concerns in Josie’s life, including her family’s financial worries, are handled lightly, but with care. With echoes of Charlotte’s Web, Kendall’s sweet story of family, friendship, and growing pains should charm a broad range of readers. Ages 8–12. Agent: Alexander Slater, Trident Media Group. (Oct.)