by Paul Griffin
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017. Fiction. 195 p.
When Lorenzo befriends a runt pig it soon becomes his constant companion. Marty is as loyal and smart as any dog, but pigs have a way of growing, and when Marty gets to be 250 lbs, his affectionate nudges become hazardous. There are other complications in Lorenzo's life as well. He is trying to find out what really happened to his Dad who never came back from Afghanistan, and he is struggling through a summer without his best friend, Paloma Lee. With everything else going on, Lorenzo desperately wants to save Marty from the butcher block, but at what cost?
This is a charming novel, reminiscent of White's Charlotte's Web and King-Smith's Babe: The Gallant Pig. Griffin does a good job showing Lorenzo as a boy desperately in need of a friend, but also portraying his mother's concerns for finances and safety with a sympathetic hand. Lorenzo's and Paloma's friendship is also very sweet. The audio book has some nice music included (Paloma is a singer who longs for Nashville fame). This is a feel-good book with a some heart-ache mixed in--great for a reader who is craving something a little sentimental.