cover image Saucy


Cynthia Kadohata, illus. by Marianna Raskin. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4424-1278-1

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. [em](Sept.) [/em]