Review Detail

Kids Fiction 159
A Plethora of Puppies!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
In The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City, Josie and her large family adopted Hamlet, a pig. When he grew too big to keep in their townhouse, he was sent to live in the country on the farm of neighbor Mrs. Taglioni's brother. Josie is still volunteering at a veterinary clinic nearby, and one day seven puppies are left at the clinic with a note saying that the owner had seen her on the news and thought she would be able to find home for all of the German Shepherd mix puppies. The vet says that Josie must get permission from her parents to foster them, and once she does, things get complicated. Sully, a neighbor boy she likes, says he will help her, as will several of the other kids in her neighborhood. Her brothers and sisters are less than excited, but help out a bit as well. Some of her friends think she should forget about animals and return to gymnastics, but Jodie knows what she loves best. In between taking care of the puppies and visiting Hamlet, she is faced with the fact that Sugar, the family's 14 year old dog, is not doing well. Josie must face the best way to say goodbye to the puppies as well as to her beloved family pet.
Good Points
There is never a shortage of books about animal shelters and children who want to take care of animals, but there is never a shortage of readers for them, either. Most animal obsessed readers would be thrilled to have seven puppies arrive unbidden on their doorstep, even if it means quite the outlay of money for food and puppy pads! It was interesting to see Josie's thoughts about quitting gymnastics, and her light romance with Scully was fun as well.

When I was growing up, everyone I knew wished they had more brothers and sisters, so Josie's family and all of the activity will appeal to readers who enjoyed the family stories of the Vanderbeekers and Penderwicks. Josie has to fight a bit to be heard in her family, but that is something to which most middle graders can relate.

Maple's Roxbury Park Dog Club, Cervante's Lety Out Loud, Deutsch's Cinnamon Bun Besties and Garland's The Twelve Pets of Christmas will enjoy learning more about Josie and her family as well as finding out how Hamlet is faring out in the country.
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