Huge thanks to Jodi Kendall for sharing a copy of The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City with our #bookexcursion group! #bookexcursion is a team of ten educators who read and share new children’s and middle-grade titles. For more of my #bookexcursion reviews, click here!
When I was a kid, my favorite book in the world was Charlotte’s Web. I remember spending hours flipping through the pages and falling in love with the story of Wilbur, Charlotte, Fern, and all the other amazing characters. It’s clear that author Jodi Kendall appreciates Charlotte’s Web just as much as I do, as her middle-grade debut is a heartwarming tribute to E.B. White’s classic.
When Josie Shilling sits down for Thanksgiving dinner, she expects to be sitting in her small city townhouse with her four siblings and two parents. She doesn’t expect, however, to be joined by a baby piglet. When Josie’s older brother Tom rescues a runt from a farm outside the city, Josie makes it her mission to save the pig’s life. While her life is busy with gymnastics, friendships, and a growth spurt, Josie soon adds one more item to her to-do list: persuading her parents to let her keep Hamlet.
This was such a well-crafted and heartwarming story – two traits that make this middle-grade book a must-have for classroom libraries. Josie, her friends, and her siblings are well-developed as characters. Readers can imagine what it must be like to live in the busy Shilling household! While all the characters are compelling, Josie is a fantastic middle-grade main character: talented and imperfect, empathetic and thoughtful, growing up and still curious. There is so much to love about this book, and I can’t wait to see what author Jodi Kendall does next!