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Pig-Heart Boy

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,683 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
You're thirteen. All you want is a normal life. But most normal kids don't need heart transplants.

So there's this doctor. He says there's a chance for you. But he also says it's experimental, controversial and risky. And it's never been done before.

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, this is a powerful, thought-provoking story from the award-winning Malorie Blackman.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 5th 2004 by Corgi Childrens (first published 1997)
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TheBirdNerd Not at all. The actual operation isn't described at all, and throughout the book there isn't any mention for gruesome stuff really. There is a scene…moreNot at all. The actual operation isn't described at all, and throughout the book there isn't any mention for gruesome stuff really. There is a scene when a woman throws a bucket of pig blood over Cameron, but it isn't described graphically. (less)
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YALC 2015
48th out of 137 books — 26 voters
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie BlackmanHacker by Malorie BlackmanBoys Don't Cry by Malorie BlackmanPig-Heart Boy by Malorie BlackmanBoy Meets Boy by David Levithan
YALC 2016
4th out of 129 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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So touching, my 2nd favourite Malorie book of the month. Review to follow in the next few days.


For my pre read thoughts and reasons for rating please visit my blog: From the Shadows I Review

You know how I had trouble reviewing ‘Double Cross’ well I’m having even more trouble with this one. I can’t quite put into words how I feel about any of this. But I’m gonna give it a good go. This is a really good story, touching, realistic, heart breaking and so enjoyable. It’s a short story,
Nov 14, 2012 Den rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen, 2012
This is all about a young teen who needs a heart transplant because his own is not working and he will probably die within a year. He is offered a heart but it is a pig's heart and if he accepts he'll be the first human to have had this kind of transplant. As with anything new, it involves risks but he is prepared to take them as he is fed up of not really living - just watching. He decides to go ahead and tells his friend to keep it secret. Unfortunately his friend lets it slip to his parents w ...more
Jul 14, 2015 Yami rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
let me quote the protagonist and summarize this novel " it is simple, really"

Cam. is a boy with a weak heart , and the only ready donor is a pig called Trudy.

for Cam and his family , after the procedure instead of being concerned about their son's short life span, their focus turns to the media, and the people talking animal rights.
so the boy has to face all kind of people, and all kind of opinions, trying to figure out the right from wrong, and the art of living, forgiving and forgetting.

the no
Mar 10, 2016 Alisha rated it it was amazing
I read this book a while ago but every time I remember it I can only think of the good things. This book is so amazing and it just opens up a whole new part of our world that could one day be realistic. I love the way Malorie makes the characters come alive and I just love the entire book so much. Definite 5 for me
Stephen Leach
Jul 28, 2015 Stephen Leach rated it liked it
I've read a few of Malorie Blackman's books: some good, some not that good, but none of which, in my opinion, can match her excellent Noughts & Crosses series. Pig-Heart Boy is my favourite of these books. In typical Blackman style, it's a powerful story that tackles some pretty hefty issues.

Thirteen-year-old Cameron is dying, and time is running out to get a transplant. In desperation, his father approaches a doctor who is trying to conduct research with pig hearts. Desperate, Cameron's fam
Apr 08, 2012 Samantha rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 03, 2010 Libby rated it liked it
Pig Heart Boy touches on a very sensitive subject; using animal organs in human transplants. The book made me think about whether I would accept a pig heart.
Yet I still had to give it 3 stars.
Honestly, this book wasn't amazingly well-written. Some reviewers said it was amazing because it was written in the way an 11 year old would speak. Well, here's some news for you: 11 year-olds who read books don't conform to sterotypes. Blackman seemed to be busy trying to get into the mindset of a young bo
James Payne
Jun 01, 2014 James Payne rated it it was amazing
Malorie Blackman, everyone says she is the best children author, and I can see where they are coming from. This is a truly brilliant book, I do not think I have ever read a book so fast. If anyone says that this is a CHILDREN book then they are wrong! My mum is reading this book and it is a powerful story, sticking in your mind for days. Whenever something bad happens to one of the characters, you really feel for them. I got to know the characters so well, this is one of the best books I have ev ...more
Dec 19, 2008 Marta rated it it was amazing
I read "Pig Heart Boy" when I was in year 6 and I really liked it.

It was about a boy who has heart problems and needs to have a heart transplant. No person would give away their heart so the doctors suggested to use a pig's heart. The boy's parents do not want that to happen and let their child have a pig's heart and they fuss about it really much. The boy dos have the pig's heart at the end and it has a really good ending.

I enjoyed the book and will read more Malorie Blackman's books.
Feb 20, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
One of my book groups chose 'Noughts and Crosses' and it seemed to go down really well with some girls reading the next book.

I didn't like it. I would go so far as saying I hated it. The story was dire and the writing rubbish.

But, this author gets such good reviews so where had I gone wrong? I decided to try another book, and found 'Pig Heart Boy' in a charity shop.

And I'm so glad I did try again. This book is brilliant and will be going onto my 'favourites' shelf.

The only reason I can't give i
Rhian Pritchard
Nov 19, 2014 Rhian Pritchard rated it really liked it
The wonderful thing about short books is that they take hardly any time at all to read. Picked this one up at six, finished at half eight, and changed my entire attitude in-between. I have always loved Malorie Blackman's work, ever since we read Noughts and Crosses in English in Y9, and I went on to read the rest of the series. I can't believe it's taken me this long to getting round to reading this one, because it was so worth it! They style was a strange kind of blast from the past, actually, ...more
Georgia Morris
Nov 25, 2015 Georgia Morris rated it really liked it
This book deals with some very mature themes in a way which manages to high not shy away from them but remain child friendly. It is a captivating narrative and explores great topics for discussion with children based on animal rights, bullying and death.
Rozerin Delal
Jan 18, 2015 Rozerin Delal rated it really liked it
I think this book is very interesting. In this book Cameron has got a heart transplant problem and it is sad. He just wants to live normally like other people but he has got a serious health problem. One doctor suggest him to have a pig heart and he starts to think. At the beginning I thought that, this book will be ordinary dramatic novel but it wasn't like that. It is a effective and book has got a dramatic scenes.In real, we can't have got a pig heart but in this book writer made a craziness. ...more
Jan 08, 2016 Aarush rated it it was amazing
Pig-heart boy was a very good book. The struggles of the main character were very moving, and the fact that he couldn't do ordinary things like play sports were absolutely shocking. When he got the heart transplant done, the way people treated him was horrific. This book really knows how to bring out your emotions.

In terms of narrative, it was also excellent. There weren't any long descriptions, and it was fairly fast-paced. The first person narrative was a good choice, because the feelings of C
Lozzi Counsell
Sep 02, 2015 Lozzi Counsell rated it liked it
This is a book I had to read for University and I really enjoyed it - I loved being in the point of view of Cam and facing his path with him and also people's reactions to his decision. My favourite character was the Nan and the reason why I marked this story down is because I thought that he was going to stick with the decision about a new heart when his struggles reappear and if he had of done then the book would have been much more memorable and gripping for me. I am also left with the questi ...more
Jan 17, 2015 Anna rated it really liked it
I remember reading this book a few years ago. Some friends and I had decided to join a reading club at school and this was the first book we read as a group. I finished it the day I got it.

It was very moving and I felt genuinely emotional for the characters. The whole idea of having a heart transplant from a pig was intriguing and it turned out much better than I could have imagined.

The ending was so heartwarming it actually made me cry, something that obly a handful of very privileged books can
Feb 22, 2015 Chrissi rated it really liked it
I think I vaguely remember being intrigued by this book when I was younger, but I never got around to reading it. Coupled with a university task and a desire to read more from Malorie Blackman, I was excited to get to this book. Pig Heart Boy is a particularly touching story about a very sick boy who takes the opportunity to have a pig’s heart transplanted into this body.

Pig Heart Boy doesn’t take long to read at all yet it still makes a massive impact. I found it heart breaking but it was also
Zeynep Sude
Jan 17, 2015 Zeynep Sude rated it really liked it
When I saw this book at library, I thought it was a fairy tale. But I learned that lots of people is living like in this situation. Their life is a fairy tale too because they didn't give up and they tried to live. The boy in the book wanted to live like his friends but he had a hearth problem. A doctor wanted to solve this problem with transmitting a pig heart to him. It could be a problem or it could be a solution. I don't want to give spoiler anymore but I should say that if you interested in ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leonie Byrne
Jul 23, 2013 Leonie Byrne rated it really liked it
Shelves: real-life-issues
The more I read by Malorie Blackman the more I think she just doesn't do happy endings. I enjoyed this book but felt the ending was disappointing and sort of rushed.

Some spoilers

Cameron is an average boy he likes going swimming with his friends and has his eyes set on Julie a girl in his class. But there's one thing that's not so average about Cameron.. He's dying. A few years previously he caught an infection which has damaged his heart. Now he only has about a year of his life left. He can't
Avi Dixit
Jun 03, 2012 Avi Dixit rated it really liked it
“I am drowning in this roaring silence. I am drowning. I am going to die...” Cameron, a thirteen year old teenager is desperate for a heart transplant. He is smart, good looking and extremely intelligent. However his life isn’t normal. Ever since his body caught the viral infection 2 years ago, his heat had started weakening and producing a massive number of problems for his body. And now it was the time that he was forced to change his heart to survive against the forces of the world. Not with ...more
Beth Bonini
Sep 12, 2012 Beth Bonini rated it liked it
Malorie Blackman has a considerable oeuvre of YA fiction, but this is only the second of her books that I've read -- the first being her Noughts and Crosses, undoubtedly the novel she is best known for. They are some similarities between the two in the sense that they are both fast-paced and full of drama and family tension. The prose is simple and conversational, definitely meant to be contemporary and conversational -- as opposed to "literary." This book has an interesting premise -- 13 year o ...more
Oct 27, 2014 Ana rated it it was ok
I loved the premise for this book. I had never seen anything like it before but unfortunately I did not quite like the main character. He just really annoyed me especially after his heart transplant. I was also not very gripped by the writing style I just didn't quite enjoy it. Finally the descriptions of buildings for example when he goes to the private surgery office thing were very unrealistic. They were easy to picture in my head but to sort of forced or fake
Dec 07, 2013 Nidhi rated it it was amazing
(view spoiler)

This book by Malorie Blackman is a powerful, touching story. It’s emotional in the beginning because Cameron can’t do any

Jun 29, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing
I found this book very gripping with a lot of power in it. As its talking about feelings and choices. It is about a boy who has a failing heart and needs a new one although there are no human ones so he has a choice to have pigs heart. My favourite character is his Nan because she lets Cameron make his own decisions and its sad about her at the end but she helped him through the worst.
I would definitely recommend this book!
Snehal Vaspate
Apr 21, 2014 Snehal Vaspate rated it liked it
The book was ok. The book is based on a boy who is close to dying and his only to live is to fit a pigs heart in his chest. The book was very believable and convincing as I never thought pig transplants could ever happen.

The idea of the book was really good and I felt very sorry for the boy and had me thinking about it all the time. However the book went by quickly without that much thought but overall was a great book.

Feb 05, 2014 Matthew rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who want to cry to a book
I could not keep my eyes off this book, it made me want to read on and on forever. The story has the most perfect ending with a video diary to his little sister telling her that he will live to see another day, but with good news, there must come bad news. It mixes the joys of life and the tragedy of death all in one book with death looming over the protagonist as he must come to terms with his illness.
Aug 11, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Pig Heart Boy is a touching book about a 13 year old boy named Cameron. He just wants to be able to live a normal life like other boys his age. He wants to play football with his friends, touch the bottom of the deep end in the pool, run, dance and lead a carefree life. However, Cameron is dying of a heart disease and desperately needs a new heart fast...but what if the heart came from a pig?

This book explores themes such as friendship, loyalty, trust, self-sacrifice,xenotransplants, coping with
Aug 30, 2015 Joanna rated it really liked it
This book was amazing! It had me really feeling for the character the entire way through. I would definitely recommend this book to junior readers as it isn’t a hard book to read, but can be hard-hitting in places, regarding how he is treated once people realise that he has a pig heart.

See full review:
Sue Murdoch
Oct 11, 2014 Sue Murdoch rated it really liked it
I've just re-read Pig Heart Boy because Library Club students have chosen to read it. We are a mixed group of different views-young teens and adults and faith/agnostic. I'm really looking forward to the discussion: What would we do if faced with Cam's choices? How will the views of adults and parents differ from those of the students?
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Review 4 19 Sep 25, 2014 09:20AM  
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An award-winning children's author, Malorie Blackman was honoured with an OBE in 2008. Her work has been adapted for TV and stage.

More information available at:
British Council: Contemporary Authors
British Council: Encompass Culture
Channel 4 Learning: Book Box
More about Malorie Blackman...

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