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Saving Marty

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  725 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Fans of Because of Winn Dixie will adore this warm and heart-wrenching story of the friendship between a boy and a pig who thinks it's a dog.

Eleven-year-old Lorenzo Ventura knows heroes are rare--like his father, who died in the war, or his friend Paloma Lee, who fearlessly pursues her dream of being a famous musician. Renzo would never describe himself as a hero, but his
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Dial Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  725 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Cassie Beasley
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Saving Marty sneaked up on me. I could tell from the first page that I was going to like it because Paloma and Renzo are great together, but I didn't expect that I would love it as much as I did. I mean, it was an animal story and my heart can only take so much.

But of course Saving Marty isn't just an animal story. It's a human story. And a brilliant one.

The characters are so alive on the page. I want to be Renzo's friend. I want to hear Paloma sing. I want to knock some sense into the bad guy
Laura Harrison
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book and strong Newbery 2018 contender.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! #booksday. An overweight boy, a musical girl, and a pet pig that keeps getting bigger and bigger. Such a beautiful story of friendship, family, secrets, and finding your true self. A must read!!!
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. I think these books that deal with the impact on children of losing a parent in the military are very important. I loved Marty, the pig!
Ms. Yingling
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
ARC provided by the publisher

Lorenzo Ventura lives on a peach farm, Maple Clutch, in southwest Pennsylvania with his mother and his grandfather, Double Pop. His father was killed while serving in the military, and the farm is not making a lot of money, so Lorenza mother is trying to cobble together loans, part time jobs, and business schemes to keep it afloat. After their pig has a litter, all of the animals are sold off, and when their dog, Bella, also has a litter, the plan is the same. Howeve
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness! This book made me laugh, cry, and left me with both a happy and an achy heart. A beautiful story about Renzo, his best friend Paloma, their dreams of moving to California to be famous musicians and surf when they aren't performing, and how the love of a pig (who thinks he is a dog) fills an empty space they both have in their lives. An important story that middle grade readers will love. Another fantastic book from author Paul Griffin. I can't wait to share this book with student ...more
Alex Hayes
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I started the book, it was pretty boring, and I was thinking about switching to another. But as I kept reading, it got much more interesting, and the ending is really good. I recommend it for 4th and 5th graders because it is a pretty short and easy to read story.
Text Publishing
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ya
‘Saving Marty is a gentle read about coping with horrendous news, surviving against the odds, and love in all its forms. It’s a keeper.’
Kids Book Review

‘Warm, sweet, funny and heart-warming…A unique story; fresh and contemporary, it will bring a lump to your throat but you’ll finish it with a smile.’
Scott Fillner
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An imprint book, that will stay with me for a long time! Cannot wait to share this book with students.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was joyful yet sad at the same time. If you are an animal lover, then your heart will really melt while reading it. I love how the author came up with the idea of a pig thinking he's a dog because it's so funny. The end was kind of sad even though (spoilers) it's a happy ending. I only wish that the author would've put more into the book to make it longer. Overall, it was a great book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to read a short, compassionate book. ...more
Freddie Lopez
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book I finished reading is called saving Marty by Paul griffin.This book is about a 11 year old boy Lorenzo Ventura and his pet big Marty.Nobody liked Marty because of him being a pig and acting like a dog.When Lorenzo's mom was ready to auction a box a puppy's but Marty got mixed up in the box.At one point in this book Marty gets entered in a dog race and at first they were making fun of him and making noises.This book also can have the theme of acceptance because through out the entire boo ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for a good animal story so how could I resist one about a pig who thinks he's a dog. ...more
Sarah Easley
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I started out hating this book and by the end liked it ok. The writing overall is pretty bad: no developed characters besides the narrator and too much (unrealistic) dialogue, but I mean a pig who acts like a dog is pretty cute and the emotional passages are "just plain true." ...more
Benny Dunn
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is really funny and I can't believe what they did to save him ...more
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Loved this book. Suitable for the 10-14 age. Includes themes of suicide, abandonment , financial issues... but love, friendship and devotion.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
Renzo is a gentle-hearted dreamer who learns that there are some things worth fighting for. And Marty is the pig who guides him toward the man he is growing to be. [from Kirkus Reviews]
Could you raise a runt pig as a pet knowing all along that when he gets big enough he will be sold and slaughtered? I love the bond between Marty and all of the family and neighbors. He even bonds with the dog. Very sweet, feel good story with decent, hard- working characters.
Hannah D.
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was AMAZING. You are on the edge of your seat the whole 'ride'. Marty is a pig who wasn't auctioned, and by accident was brought home. He thinks he is a dog and acts like one. When he accidentally brings trouble, Lorenzo and Pal need to find a way to save Marty. This book is also a great mystery of the great fighter Marty (the human), Lorenzo's dad. ...more
Laura Gardner
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for SAVING MARTY by Paul Griffin. I adore this book!
Lorenzo (Renzo) is large for his age and has only one friend, Paloma Lee. Together they have a plan to move to California someday and make music together. Marty’s family is living paycheck to paycheck; his mom and grandfather, Double, work any jobs they can get. His father died before Renzo was born and left behind his guitar for Renzo, but Renzo has unanswered questions about his father. When a runt piglet comes into hi
Hannah Jane
Apr 03, 2019 marked it as maybe-another-day
I listened to the audiobook and I have to say Paloma’s singing has scarred me for life. Every time I listen to an audiobook now, I’ll be wondering if someone who is not the narrator is going to bust out in song. This story couldn’t persuade my crusty old heart to melt.
Amber Webb
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Saving Marty was a lovely story of family, friendship, hardship and perspective. Marty has been friends with Pal his whole life, but then they discover a runt piglet who has been nurtured as a new puppy. Marty takes on the piglet and raises him as a dog and saves him from his doom at the butcher. The story is one of friendship between humans and pets as well as our notions of family and what makes someone good. The story tugs at your heart and connects to many different lives. A must have in cla ...more
I loved these two kids' names.. Lorenzo (Renzo) and Paloma Lee. Each of these kids have only one parent. I was hooked when Marty snuggled up with his little runt self to the old dog. WHAT A STORY! I just loved it. It was everything so sweet, so sad, so disappointing and so wonderful that goes into making up life and growing up... Truly it is a bildungsroman. It is a story for all ages, all levels and all genders... It was just so ... everything!

The story is about love, and loyalty to each other
Lorenzo lives on a peach farm with his mom and grandpa (Double). His dad was killed in the military. The family is struggling and mom is always stressed about money. When the pig has a litter they are all sold off. Then the dog Bella also has a litter of puppies and it is discovered that the runt pig was missed. Bella raises Marty as her own and he grows up thinking he is a dog instead of a pig. He is Lorenzo's constant companion but his growing size means he gets into trouble quite a bit.

Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Renzo keeps the runt piglet that has been left on his farm after his mom has taken the mother and the rest of the litter to be auctioned off. He names the piglet Marty after his father who died, before Renzo was born while serving overseas in a war. Marty, who acts more like a dog than a pig, becomes Renzo's loyal and lovable companion. Inevitably, Marty grows quite a lot in size and having him as a pet becomes quite challenging, especially in the eyes of Renzo's mom. Renzo's determination to ke ...more
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. Full of Dreamers, doubters that change, a funny pig, music and danger. Yes, somehow, a very simple life. Loved it. ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced copy of this book to enjoy and review. Saving Marty by Paul Griffin is an adorable and witty book about a boy who saves a runt pig and a runt pig who brings together a family trough his hijinks. Renzo is a pre-teen growing up in Pennsylvania on a farm. His best friend Paloma and him bonded as children who have lost a parent. They spend their days on the farm making music and dreaming of making it big in hollywood. As a child, I lost a parent quite similarly to the way Renz ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heartfelt, humorous coming of age story about a boy who discovers himself through the love of his accidental pet pig, Marty.

Renzo is no stranger to poverty and loss. His father died when he was young and he has grown up with a tired and broke mother who seems to be hiding a secret about his deceased father, who died while serving in the military. Struggling to keep their struggling farm afloat, Renzo’s mother is determined to sell a piglet left behind when it’s mother and babies are sold. Ren
Naomi Campbell
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
My son and I got to see this author at a Lit Fest and we hadn't heard of any of his books, let alone read them, or heard of the author. We were super-impressed with the author and his presentation and passion for life and children and living a life that matters, but we didn't like this book. It feels bad to say that, but anyway, we're not knocking the guy. Maybe it just wasn't our thing, this book. Happens. We're glad we got a chance to read it anyway, and we'll probably try another one of his b ...more
Britt Buckenroth
Looking for wholesome? You found it. I feel like it's been a while since I read a book with innocent protagonists just trying to get through the thick of it. Lorenzo doesn't have it easy. His single mom works her tail off to make ends barely meet. He spends a lot of time reading the letters of his dad who passed away before he was born and thinks of living up to what would have been his dad's expectations of being true. Lorenzo has one friend until a runt of the pig litter turns up in his barn a ...more
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, kids
This was not the heart-warming story I expected it to be, which is fine, but every once and awhile why can't we have a story only about a boy and his four hundred pound pet pig? And not all. the. problems. Because Lorenzo sure had enough for only being 11 years old - a dead father, a somewhat-absent mother, money problems, bullying and this spoiler-free list will have to end now. I am all for painting a realistic picture for kids of the "real" world and making them aware of problems and issues o ...more
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Paul Griffin lives, writes, and trains dogs in New York City. His previous novel, The Orange Houses, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults Top Ten, an International Reading Association 2010 Notable Book for a Global Society, a Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Book of 2009, and an Amelia Bloomer Project Award winner. ...more

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