Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Bks. Sept. 2020. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442412781.
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.

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