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Pig Park

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3.53  ·  Rating details ·  90 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
It's crazy! Fifteen-year-old Masi Burciaga's neighborhood is becoming more and more of a ghost town since the lard company moved away. Her school closed down. Her family's bakery and the other surviving businesses may soon follow. As a last resort, the neighborhood grown-ups enlist all the remaining able-bodied boys and girls to haul bricks to help build a giant pyramid in ...more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Cinco Puntos Press (first published May 13th 2014)
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Cindy
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
there's something very charming, kooky and lovely
about Pig Park. i love how martinez incorporates family,
community, friends, and first love feelings into this
delightful read. a wonderful example of #ownvoices
and writing from one's culture that works so well.
Misty Iputi
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
MY REVIEW
Pig Park is not about what it sounds like, pigs. Instead, a fun book about part of a city that had been mostly forgotten about due main company moving elsewhere and the antics of what they are going to do to get noticed.

The other people and the stores in the area along with storyline make this book fun and entertaining.
I am giving this 4.5/5 however it will need to be raised up in the stars to show a five star rating.


free copy for an honest review
Ms. Yingling
Jun 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Masi likes her Chicago neighborhood, but it has taken a big blow when the American Lard Company moved its business to China. Her family’s bakery business has suffered, as have all of the businesses in the area. Even Masi’s charter school is closing, and she will be bussed to a new school in the fall. A local businessman has come up with a good idea—if the teens in the area can build a pyramid in the local park (Pig Park, since it was donated by the lard company), the area can be turned into a to ...more
Suzy
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For anyone interested in the #weneeddiversebooks campaign, the author gives us a look at a diverse neighborhood in Chicago. The families living in Pig Park include: the Burciagas, Nowaks, Sustaitas, Wongs, Shanchez... The issues ring true. It is a necessary book.
R.A. White
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is very much geared toward young adults, but I confess that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a step away from my usual reading in that it's realistic fiction rather than fantasy or dystopian, and I probably never would have picked it up, but I won it in a drawing. So glad I did! There's a smidgeon of something that could almost be called a love triangle, but it's so mild and sweet that I'm not going to count it as one.
I enjoyed Masi, and I really felt for her throughout the story. Her int
...more
Alicia
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It touches nicely not just on universal issues of growing up, but also on the importance of neighborhood and the off-line networks that surround us. I have a niece who lives in Chicago (the setting of the book) and I think she will really like this book when she is old enough for it. The plots were well woven-together and it all tied up nicely at the end. Also, it made me hungry for marranitos. I'm running out to Bowie Bakery right now.
Karen
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Pig Park takes place in a dying neighbor hood in Chicago, Illinois where during the summer she is 15, Masi watches as her family bakery struggles, her parents separate, and the people in her world take drastic action to save what they know. She also has to struggle with her first love and learn to accept what she can't change. A fun coming-of-age story!
Valentina
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Pig Park by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez is the story of how a community in Chicago, worn and struggling with job loss after the lard company that provided income to the town closes down, pulls together to build a pyramid that will potentially help bring people to visit Pig Park. Our protagonist and heroine, Masi Burciaga, takes on the effort of saving her town so that her family and her friends can all remain in Pig Park.
The plot is certainly attention-grabbing, even if its execution leaves quite
...more
Barbara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gina
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Drop whatever it is you're doing and go out and buy a copy of this book right NOW. Those familiar with my reviews know I'm pretty stingy with the ratings especially when it comes to middle grade reads. Most books fall in the 2-3 star range for me as I have high standards. Pig Park is one of the rare middle grade reads that gets 5 stars joining the ranks of Bud, Not Buddy; Maniac Magee, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. One of my biggest pet peeves with books is that they tend to rambl ...more
David Schaafsma
Full disclosure: The author was a student of mine in a YA class, and I directed her MA thesis here at UIC in Chicago, and she also has come into my YA class several times as we read her first, award-winning book, The Smell of Old Lady Perfume. That book is sad, and also very funny. That book, focused on a Mexican-American family, was set in El Paso; this one is supposedly a multicultural neighborhood in Chicago, though the main family is largely Hispanic…. and it feels less like race or place is ...more
A. Romantico
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Pig Park is a salient fable about the devil in disguise, set in a community facing crises. The author uses vivid characters to engage the reader and draw us into the depths of a plot that turns on us before we realize. We should have known.

Still, the tale transcends community, time, and politic. Pig Park’s Dr. Vidales Casal will remind many a third-world immigrant of the decorated, smug, power-drunk, ray-ban wearing military figures whose men shaped the fates of many a village. In contrast, Mas
...more
Brenna
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it

Pig Park brings us the story of a small town on it's last legs, thanks to the main factory closing down. When a developer comes into town with the idea to build a pyramid to attract tourists, towns people chip in to help build it. Martinez skillfully brings together Masi, her friends, and the adult business owners together to build a story of searching for hope, community involvement, and individual growth and self esteem.

The author's characters are well written, especially the main character,
...more
Edward Sullivan
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
An engaging, uplifiting story about a community working together to revitalize their urban neighborhood. This novel is notable for its well-deined characters, particularly the fifteen-year-old protagonist, who are appealing and relatable.
Cynthia  Sanders
Sometimes I like to read a YA book that doesn't have the theoretical discourse and complexities of some of the other books I more often read. It was a story about a group living in an impoverished state and the difficulties they face. And yet they continue to have hope in what seems to be a hopeless situation. Perhaps whatever the outcome the bonds formed between this diverse group make it a good read.
UMW-Leadership development
Brent Lambert
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A E Fox
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I think the overall story is good and the quality of writing is good. However, the story was slow going and there was a lot of repetition that seemed misplaced.
Amara Burdess
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Decent teen fiction with a hint of mystery and romance.
J
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A workable enough first novel in the YA genre with lots of details that set the scenes, but a super deus ex machina conclusion that's about 95% happy kinda strains credibility.
Giseroka
Mar 29, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked it. I initially felt the characters didn't have enough depth. It was too similar to 'This Side of Home' that I'd just read. I felt it was predictable, but good for a young adolescent (5th grade).

1. The representations of language, culture, setting, and relationships were that of a second generation Mexican American teenage girl living in a southwestern, economically struggling suburban community. I think is was accurate, but I do feel like it could've had more depth. Her paternal grandmo
...more
Rich in Color
Review Copy: Digital ARC from pubisher

Masi worries about her neighborhood, the family bakery, and her parents too. She has many issues pulling at her emotions, but she is also a young person wanting to enjoy her summer hanging out with friends and maybe even experience a little romance along the way.

Masi looks at the neighborhood revitalization plan as one way to take care of several things. With everyone working together, she gets to spend time with friends and maybe a special someone along wit
...more
Mona  AlvaradoFrazier
I enjoyed reading this YA book and it was a quick read. I'd give it a 3.5.
This is a younger YA book, ages 12-15, which deals with a lot of issues: economic instability, parental separation, community and friendship. The plot is described as "Fifteen-year-old Masi Burciaga's neighborhood is becoming more and more of a ghost town since the lard company moved away. Her school closed down. Her family's bakery and the other surviving businesses may soon follow. As a last resort, the neighborhood grow
...more
Erin
Oct 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

Building a pyramid in a park to save a neighborhood from going out of business is an interesting idea for a story, and I was excited to find out what would happen, would the idea work? I wasn’t expecting the residents of the neighborhood to be as easily convinced by the idea of the pyramid as they turned out to be. I thought there’d be more hesitancy, more questioning of who was involved and what their motives were, but everyone just seemed to go
...more
April
Dec 22, 2015 rated it liked it
This was okay but rather disjointed. It would have almost been better in a journal/diary format.

*Spoilers*
This may have been the author's attempt to mimic the rapid-fire and quickly attention-shifting mind of a 15 year old but there were many things going on (town building pyramid, Masi wanting to be near her friend, crushing on her friend's brother, crushing on new guy, worried about bakery, worried about parents, then her mom leaving to stay with grandparents and having diabetes and the father
...more
Jennifer Gallman
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cinco Puntos Press is a publishing company that needs a lot more recognition for its diverse settings and multicultural perspectives. In this novel, fifteen-year-old Masi is trying to reinvigorate her dying neighborhood of Pig Park (named so because of its industrial lard company) by agreeing to build a pyramid with her friends. Amidst the convergence of community pride, Masi's mother leaves Chicago for Texas where she is diagnosed with diabetes, and her father has to stay and keep the family ba ...more
Liz Friend
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
The story: Masi's neighborhood is going downhill fast, so when an "expert" comes up with an idea to build a pyramid in the park to bring in tourists, everyone climbs on board. A lot more happens than Masi expects: falling in love, family feuds, and an explosive end to the whole summer. Will Pig Park ever be the same? Masi knows she won't.

June Cleaver's ratings: Language PG; Violence G; Sexual content PG; Nudity G; Substance abuse PG; Magic & the occult G; GLBT content G; adult themes (parent
...more
Ziya
Oct 19, 2015 rated it liked it
When I received this book as a birthday present, I wasn't too sure what to think - but Masi's voice is one I don't hear too often, and it was well worth seeing this to the end. The basic premise was great, as well as the themes juggled in this book (economic insecurity, globalization (?) and how the loss of a major company can almost shutter an entire neighborhood).

The only flaw, I'd say, is that it feels a little too busy towards the end and like we're juggling too many bricks at once - but it
...more
Laura
Nov 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Chicag0-based coming-of-age story? Sounds interesting, right? The setting and Masi are so clearly drawn, particularly the despair she feels at not just "normal" changes but at the larger ones of her school closing down and the neighborhood dying. It was the when they started building the pyramid that they lost me: how anyone thought this would revitalize an area required a suspension of belief that I just couldn't manage.
Jessica
Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a story about hope; and about community; and about family and friendship. These are all themes I gravitate towards hence I enjoyed the story.

The characters, while believable, weren't developed enough. I feel like we just sort of met them, but didn't really get to know them on a deeper level. That is why I rate this book 3/5 stars.
Wendy
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was a book I won. It was about a community that was trying to revitalize itself after the American Lard Company left. It is a young adult book and was written for young adults. The writing style was for young adults with not much depth. It was not my style, but I think teens would enjoy it. I will pass it on. Thanks!
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Claudia is the award winning author of The Smell of Old Lady Perfume and Pig Park. She grew up in sunny El Paso (TX), but now lives and writes in Chicago.
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