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A story about a girl and her ever-growing pig, Saucy.

Being a quadruplet can make it hard to stand out from the crowd. Becca’s three brothers all have something that makes them...them. Jake has his music and dancing, Jammer plays hockey, and K.C. thinks they’re all living in a simulation and doesn’t see the point of doing much of anything. Becca is the only one with nothing to make her special.

But when she finds a tiny, sick piglet on the side of the road, Becca knows this is it. This is her thing. She names the piglet Saucy and between her own pleading and Saucy’s sweet, pink face, Becca convinces her family to take her in. Soon, Saucy is as big a part of the family as anyone else—and getting bigger. With each pound Saucy gains, the more capable she becomes of destroying the house and landing Becca in trouble.

Some tough decisions need to be made about Becca’s pet, and her search for solutions brings to light exactly where Saucy came from. Turns out, there are a lot more scared piglets out there, and saving them may take Becca and her brothers finally doing something together.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published September 29, 2020

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About the author

Cynthia Kadohata

33 books538 followers
Cynthia Kadohata is a Japanese American writer known for writing coming of age stories about Asian American women.

She spent her early childhood in the South; both her first adult novel and first children's novel take place in Southern states. Her first adult novel was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Her first children's book, Kira-Kira, won the 2005 Newbery Medal. Her first published short story appeared in The New Yorker in 1986.

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5 stars
73 (15%)
4 stars
154 (33%)
3 stars
188 (40%)
2 stars
38 (8%)
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10 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 106 reviews
Profile Image for Darla.
3,519 reviews621 followers
November 24, 2020
Rounding up from a 2.5 for the fun illustrations and writing a story with multiples in it -- quadruplets. Saucy the pig sounds pretty cute and very destructive. As in 'Saving Marty' kids learn that not all pets are meant to grow old with you. It was informative to learn about what it is like at a pig sanctuary. Becca and her family were fortunate to have one so close by. What surprises me about this book is the fact that four 11-year-old kids trespass on a pig farm, steal nine pigs, and the focus is simply on trying to shut down the pig farm. Even though they had good intentions, they basically stole thousands of dollars of market value from that farmer. How about having a dialogue with the farm owners rather than turning this into such an us vs them deal? Totally shutting down an operation like that can have a ripple effect including lost jobs, a disruption in the supply chain, etc. I grew up on a small pig farm and we had some pigs inside, some outside. We were not mean to our animals, but they were being raised for market. No handfeeding veggies and fruits or sleeping in the kitchen. I just don't know if I will recommend this one when there are better titles out there with lovable pigs.
Profile Image for La Crosse County Library.
572 reviews161 followers
June 11, 2021
A lively and caring read about a girl who's a quadruplet and how she finds her own identity and confidence by helping a sick piglet. Saucy is full of piglet antics that will make readers laugh and "squeal" with delight, but it's also a story about a family, about supporting one another's interests, about making compromises, and putting others first.

The book includes an intergenerational family, a biracial couple and their children, and a child with a disability who is treated as equal and human first. Lots of great piggy facts on how they grow, how smart they are, and the dangers of factory farms. Charming black and white illustrations by Marianna Raskin add to the book's lighthearted feel while still tackling a real issue and letting the kids solve a problem.

-Jess, Youth Services

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Profile Image for Barb Middleton.
1,760 reviews125 followers
June 14, 2023
I’m always looking for good read alouds to recommend to teachers. Becca is ashamed that she didn’t stand by her best friend when her mom went to jail. She thinks she’s a bad person and learns while taking care of a pig that she’s not bad but just made a bad decision. She has plenty of courage when it comes to a pig that she transfers to humans as she grows in understanding of the world around her. This well crafted book is funny and shows a clear character arc connected to the plot.
Profile Image for Marcia.
301 reviews6 followers
September 4, 2020
This book was such a heart touching book! I read it and then read it to my daughter who has autism and she loved it too!
Profile Image for Chance Lee.
1,338 reviews124 followers
October 31, 2020
Cynthia Kadohata, one of the most talented authors today, writes a chapter book for the pre-teen set about a big family who adopts a little pig. It's a cute and modern take on a "Newbery-bait" type of kids' story, but one I was happy to read even, even if we might all be living in a computer simulation and nothing really matters (that is part of the book, surprisingly, and not just a thought I shoe-horned in there, even if it may be true).
Profile Image for Lisa Hammer.
108 reviews
January 31, 2021
Family read-a-loud...took a bit to get through but actually brought up some deeper conversations than anticipated which is always a bonus. A bit old and not as engaging for our 4 year old but the oldest really liked it.
Profile Image for Lisa Boyd.
596 reviews12 followers
December 16, 2020
This book is an adorable little nugget. There are so many things to love and it is such an easy to read story. Give to kids who love animals. A great read-a-like for Charlotte's Web and Babe :)
Profile Image for Madison Roberts.
97 reviews
July 29, 2023
I’m torn on this one. On one hand, it was pretty darn cute. How can you not love a piglet named Saucy? On the other, there were a few big ideas that got absolutely lost in the pig chaos. I didn’t like that the parents were total pushovers either. It made me feel how Home Alone or Christmas with the Cranks makes me feel. Stressed.
Profile Image for Hazel (and Nutsy).
226 reviews1 follower
June 14, 2022
This was a sweet book that had me intersted. I loved the animal activist part of it, and the characters were mostly realistic. I think this is a great book that a lot of kids could learn from.
18 reviews
September 7, 2020
Very different childrens story. Enjoyed it. Would be great for any child that does not know where or gives a second thought about the food they eat.
Profile Image for Laura Gardner.
1,680 reviews113 followers
December 23, 2020
Cute animal story about a girl who adopts a pig and then learns about the realities of factory farming. Big question, though: why don’t they ever talk about FOOD? If those pigs are being factory farmed, then they are turning into food. There’s no mention of what Becca and her family eat or whether they will change what they eat based on what they have learned. This seems like an opportunity to discuss vegetarianism or veganism! I say this as a current vegetarian transitioning to veganism bc my 9 year old is angry about animal abuse...
Profile Image for Erica.
1,079 reviews26 followers
March 31, 2021
Becca and her brothers are quadruplets, but while each of the boys has a unique interest or special capacity, Becca feels like she lacks anything "special."

When she finds an abandoned piglet, she identifies pig ownership as her uniqueness, and sticks with that, even when the veterinarian tells her family that within 4 months the pig will weigh over 600 pounds and will not be able to live at their house.

Neither Becca nor anyone else can control the tiny piglet, who is remarkably destructive, even when small enough to lift & snuggle in Becca's lap. The damage the piglet causes is matched with Becca's determination to make it up to the household, with emphasis on the financial cost to her parents. Many of her promises not only sound hollow when she first says them, but as they pile up, even a young person can tell there is no way she will ever catch up.

I wanted to enjoy this - I love the idea of piglets...and there are so many possibilities. Yet, the hijinx were not actually funny - just destructive. And although the story is written in the third person, the author uses exclamation points as if it were a first-person expression of Becca's 11-year-old enthusiasm.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
1,495 reviews7 followers
September 29, 2020
As a kid I would have loved this book. The kids are in charge! Becca is a quadruplet. She is the only one who has nothing special about her. One brother is into hockey. Another is a math wizard and her third brother is confined to a motorized wheelchair. A grandmother who is always complaining lives with them. When Becca finds a nearly dead piglet, she convinces her family to take it to a vet. Turns out it is a Yorkshire pig which as an adult will weight 300 pounds. Becca convinces her parents to let her keep Saucy, and mayhem and destruction happen. Eventually it is decided to give Saucy and surprise, surprise piglets up to an animal shelter. As an adult I cannot understand why her parents didn’t say “NO” at the beginning and why they let the pig stay in the house is beyond me. But what really bothered me was how Becca and her brothers stole pigs from a farm. But then this book wasn’t written for an adult who knows how expensive kids are. Trying to transport myself back into childhood, I would give this an average rating. Saucy is no Wilbur, that is for sure. Animal-loving kids who will love thinking about what they would do if they were Becca and lucky enough to own a pig.
2,416 reviews
November 23, 2020
A fun family story of quadruplets who band together around a pig they rescue while out on a family walk. It takes awhile to realize all the items a pig that will grow to a few hundred pounds can damage, even when she's only 35 pounds. Finally, they find a solution.
If the story had ended here, I'd give it 4 stars. However, it goes on to the kids trespassing in a sow nursery at a containment farm. They decide it's awful and steal 9 piglets. No consequences. They set up a group of friends to post pictures all over town. Then the issue is dropped.
Profile Image for Steve T..
1,341 reviews
January 17, 2022
What it's about: 11 year old Becca is the only girl among her quadruplet siblings, but that is not the only way she stands out from her brothers. She is very observant, noticing details about her siblings and her family that others might not.

She also notices, on one of the family's nightly walks, something moving in a bush. When she investigates, she finds a tiny armadillo.

At least, that's what it looks like. It turns out to be a piglet, one with a bad case of mange that makes its skin look like tree bark. The poor creature seems to be near death, but Becca refuses to give up on the little pig, so her family whisks it off to the vet. On the way, Becca names the piglet Saucy, because even in its weakened state, it seems to be giving her a bit of attitude.

Saucy survives, and comes home to live with Becca's family. But Becca's family doesn't have a lot of money, and most of it is spent on her brother Bailey's physical therapy and powered wheelchair for his cerebral palsy, or on her brother Jammer's hockey equipment, since hockey is the only thing Jammer cares about. And having four children, two parents, and a grandparent all living together costs quite a bit. Becca feels bad about how much the vet bills are going to cost for Saucy. And when the vet tells the family that Saucy is likely to grow to over six hundred pounds, and will probably hit one hundred pounds in the next few month, Becca's mother makes it clear that Saucy will only be a temporary guest at their home - much to Becca's dismay.

And then Saucy starts tearing up the house.

As Becca's list of things she's going to pay her parents back for lengthens, her love for the pig grows. As does the pig herself - she is gaining weight daily, and as the weeks pass, Saucy becomes much, much more than a handful.

When the time comes to send Saucy to a nearby pig sanctuary, Becca is heart-broken. But an accidental discovery during their last walk together leads Becca and her brothers to learn about Saucy's history, the siblings find themselves learning more than they ever wanted to know about pig farming.

What I thought: Every time I picked the book up, I couldn't help but look at the cover and think, "Who would name their pet pig 'Saucy'?" That strikes me as a bit dark, kind of like naming your pet cow Big Mac or your pet chicken General Tso.

Why my chosen shelves: This is a realistic fiction story with some humorous elements as Becca and her family get used to having a pig around. There is an unexpectedly dark turn toward the end when ; some younger readers might find this section distressing. Becca's brother Baily has CP; brother K.C. might be on the autism spectrum.

Why I rated it like I did: This story was fine. I'm not a huge kids-and-animals story person. This story kind of chugs along, hitting pretty typical kid-and-pet beats. The latter portion of the story sets up some events that seem dark and also woefully underdeveloped.
Profile Image for Tasha.
4,117 reviews109 followers
November 20, 2020
Becca is a quadruplet which makes it hard to be unique. Her three brothers all have their own thing that makes them special: sports, music or science. Becca doesn’t have anything, though she keeps on searching for it. So when she finds a piglet with a bad case of mange on the side of the road, she thinks she may have found it. After a long stay at the vet, Becca is the owner of a pig, one that will grow to 600 pounds! She knows that eventually she will need to donate the pig to a sanctuary, but for now Saucy lives with her and her family. Saucy though has her own ideas about how to live in a house. They involve flipping chairs to ask for more food, rooting around in the refrigerator at night, and needing Becca to sleep in the kitchen on the floor with her. Becca must wrestle with losing Saucy as she grows bigger and bigger. Then Becca decides that she must find out where Saucy came from, something that will involve her entire family, just like caring for Saucy did.

Kadohata has written award-winning books that are heart wrenching. Here, she offers readers a light and fresh read that is just as well written as her previous books. Just having a pig in a book changes it for the better, offering humorous moments that the pig brings on their own. Saucy is a pig that readers will fall for just as hard as Becca and her family does. There is an underlying question throughout the book about factory farms and the treatment of farm animals that Kadohata takes on directly in a way that shows that children can make a difference even about such large topics.

The characters are great from all of the brothers with their unique attitudes and personalities to Becca herself who is seeking to discover who she really is and clearly does by the end of the book. The adult characters are well done too, including a grandmother who is quite prickly but also smitten with Saucy. Then there is Saucy herself, who makes her own sort of noises and pushes her humans around very effectively.

Funny with real depth, this novel will have you falling in love with Saucy too. Appropriate for ages 9-12.
Profile Image for MyCatJeoffry Books.
32 reviews5 followers
September 26, 2020
From our blog (MyCatJeoffryBooks.org):

We LOVED Saucy by Cynthia Kadohata! Saucy is a middle-grade novel (ages 8 on up) about a pig named Saucy – who is very saucy indeed! – and her family. Eleven-year-old Becca is the only girl in a family of quadruplets. One of her brothers has cerebral palsy, one is a star hockey player, and one is a science nerd. But Becca doesn’t really have anything that makes her stand out. Until she sees Saucy lying on the side of the road. At first she and her brothers aren’t sure what exactly Saucy is – maybe an armadillo they guess? But then their parents see that she is pig, albeit one covered in mange and very skinny, pink and sickly. They rush her to a vet, who says she is very sick but is hopeful that she will survive.

Survive Saucy does! When she comes home to live with Becca and her family, she is quite the character, getting into cupboards – sometimes by ripping the doors off – breaking into the fridge, crashing through doors – she takes the family on a ride with her intelligence, determination to get what she wants, and her increasing size and strength! But she doesn’t do anything mean-spirited, she is just very excited, and she really loves to eat. She’s also very lovable and has quite a bit of charm beneath the orneriness, and when the vet points out that she will likely grow to be 600 or more pounds and would be better off in a sanctuary, Becca is very sad. Actually, everyone is sad, since the family has grown to love her.

Well, we won’t spoil it but the story ends happily. Because of Saucy, Becca has made up with an old friend with whom she had a spat, she understands her brothers in a new way, and she now has a purpose in life: to be an animal rights advocate. This last part happens after Becca discovers why Saucy was lying on the side of the road the day she met her and where she came from. You need to read the book to find out more, and trust me, you will want to read this one! The book has cute, fun illustrations by Marianna Raskin.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
421 reviews2 followers
January 29, 2021
I received and advance copy of this book from Simon & Schuster. Thank you.
This was a good book with lots of spunky kids. Becca and her three brothers are quadruplets. She's in a slump right now. Her best friend has moved and right before that they had had a fight. Becca didn't defend her friend, and now wishes she had. She feels all of her brothers have something special about them, where as she's just plain, boring and a bad friend. Her brother Bailey has a great wheelchair, and is very musical, her brother KC is very into math and science and everyone thinks he's a genius, and her brother Jammer, lives, breathes and thinks hockey. Most night her family takes a walk and one night Becca hears a noise in the bushes. It's a adorable baby pig, who clearly has been neglected. Her parents let her take it home, and to the vet. The family rallies behind their new pet as they nurse it back to health. The vet warns them that the pig will eventually get to be 600 lbs. Naturally a pig in a house is wildly disruptive and many things get destroyed. This worries Becca because she knows money is an issue for her parents. She knows she can't keep the pig, Saucy, forever, but is determined to keep her for as long as she can. She and her brothers ban together to make the pig happy, and soon she is getting too big, and she's not even 100 lbs. They also wonder where she came from and how she was allowed to get into such bad shape. They return to where they found Saucy and make an alarming discovery. The kids come up with in idea, and with their parents OK, they round out the whole community to help them. Uplifting and hopeful.
Profile Image for Debbie.
464 reviews8 followers
September 29, 2020
This is a heart warming story about 11yr old Becca who is a quadruplet with three brothers who she feels are each special and good at different things while she considers herself good at nothing. She considers herself just ordinary and even a bad person since one time she did not stand by a friend who was being treated badly by other kids.

Becca’s life, and that of her family, change when Becca finds a sick baby pig by the side of the road and convinces her family to let her take it home and care of it. Her parents agree she can keep the pig until it gets too big for their home.

Becky names “her” pig “ Saucy” and soon finds the fun and challenges of taking care of a rapidly growing pig - which gets bigger and stronger and gets them in trouble everyday. Becca and “ her” Saucy soon become the central focus of the entire family.
By the end of the story, Becky is no longer afraid to stand up for herself and is passionate in what she believes in, and proves she is as brave as anyone.


Sent from my iPad
Profile Image for Burlington Library.
175 reviews5 followers
December 21, 2020
Wilbur, Mercy, now Saucy -- there are a surprising number of wonderful pigs in children's literature! Cynthia Kadohata spins the tale of Becca, the sole girl in a set of quadruplets, who feels she doesn't really have a "thing" until she rescues an orphaned piglet. Though the piglet is quite sick when Becca finds her, there is a spark in her that leads Becca to name her Saucy and as she recovers she quickly begins to grow into her name. Where did Saucy come from? Is she the sort of pig that can really live in a family home? Can Becca be a person who stands up for what's right even if she hasn't always done that in the past? The characters in this story are really well drawn and some, the grandmother in particular, very humorous. The story of Becca's relationship with Saucy and her brothers is sensitive, touching and lovely. In the last third of the book, Kadohata takes on the issue of factory farming and that part felt a bit forced and rushed to me. Nonetheless, I would recommend Saucy to readers third grade and up who enjoy animal stories and have a passion for animal rights.
4 reviews1 follower
January 28, 2021
If you enjoy reading sweet family books like the Vanderbeekers, you'll probably enjoy this book about a family of quadruplets. As the only girl, Becca is desperately yearning for something to define her so she’ll stand out from her three brothers who have their music and sports. She thinks she's discovered that something when she finds "Saucy" a baby pig lost and suffering with mange on the side of the road. But within weeks, she faces the monumental heartbreak of having to return Saucy to a rescue shelter after her weight continues to approach 600 pounds. As much as all the family (parents and grandmother included) love Saucy, they realize that they are not equipped to manage a 600 pound pet pig. Becca is crushed and sneaks out to check on Saucy at the refuge center. It is here that she inadvertently stumbles upon some sad truths and duplicity that cause her to take action. Before she knows it, this is the moment in which she really finds her purpose. -- And it all started with a very loveable baby pig!
Profile Image for Michelle.
895 reviews7 followers
October 9, 2020
With significant similarities to Saving Winslow (replace donkey with pig,) this realistic fiction novel for upper elementary features an interesting extended family and takes a surprising, but effective twist at the end.

A good choice for family, book club or classroom read-aloud for your 2-5th grader; be prepared for many good discussions about responsibility, ethics, and parental love.

I'd be interested to know how this book, which features a Japanese-American family, resonates with Asian-American readers. There's no reference to "traditional" or stereotypical Japanese culture within the family, which makes it different from most books written in this era for this audience. This family is very generic, down to the father speaking almost exclusively in cliches. It's not an indictment, it's just a non-Asian person wanting to know how someone with a different cultural life experience views the book.
7,502 reviews28 followers
November 3, 2020
Becca is a quadruplet. She's quiet and often feels overshadowed by her brothers. While out on a family walk, she finds a piglet in the bushes. They save it and bring it to the animal hospital. Becca convinces her parents to let her bring it home as her own pet. After several disasters, it becomes obvious Saucy needs to go to the pig sanctuary. She does but the quads decide to sneak into the factory farm she must have escaped from. They rescue/steal nine piglets and bring them home. In the end, all the pigs end up at the sanctuary and the kids in town put up posters objecting to the factory farm. Kadohata leaves an open ended finish.
Parts of the story flow smoothly while others are a bit disjointed. Becca certainly has faults and readers see that she has made some poor friendship choices in the past. The whole Mac friendship substory makes sense to show growth but is rather poorly integrated.
Profile Image for Kristen.
1,150 reviews65 followers
April 5, 2021
This is a book full of believable characters, and that may have been why I didn't love it as much as I wanted to. Becca has a very believable, flawed voice, and I found her obsession with the amount of money she cost compared to her siblings to be grating. It was real, it was understandable. It was also just hard for me to read. Also, how she treated her friend MacKenzie--again, real and believable, but not fun to read.

Kids will like the destructive, funny pig hijinks, and there's a lot more in here to talk about--what it's like to be a multiple (Becca and her 3 brothers are quadruplets, which is not a story I see regularly told in children's lit), factory farming and its ills, friendship and how we can apologize and try to do better when we've hurt someone, even the idea of the world being an alien simulation--all discussed in here. I will definitely recommend this to animal-loving kiddos, and I did enjoy it, I just didn't love Becca as a character.
Profile Image for Erin.
18 reviews1 follower
January 28, 2021
Overall I thought Saucy was a very cute book, especially with the illustrations scattered throughout. The storyline was good, characters relatable and likable, for the most part. I liked reading about the quadruplets and their similarities but also their individualities. I do think that since this is a children's book it should have involved more lesson-learning, particularly regarding accountability (Becca racking up the costs of things to replace, breaking-in and stealing the pigs - even if for a good reason, there should have been a lesson there). The ending could have been expanded upon regarding what happened with the farm/the rest of the pigs, but overall I enjoyed it and am glad to have read it.

Much appreciation to all involved in making the giveaway possible - thank you for the ARC of Saucy!
Profile Image for Jessyka Russell.
59 reviews
March 3, 2022
Book #9 - Saucy by Cynthia Kadohata

When you take your three year old to the library and they pick out a book for you, you borrow and read it!

Becca is a quadruplet and feels like she has nothing to contribute. Not like her brothers who all have a "thing" - hockey, science, and music. That is, until she rescues Saucy. Saucy is a cute little piglet who will grow to be 600 lbs, and Becca is madly in love. Shenanigans ensue.

This was a good middle grade book. I would recommend it for anyone age 9 - 13. Becca and her brothers are 11, and the book is written as if an 11 year old was speaking. One of the brothers has cerebral palsy and uses a motorized wheelchair, which is nice representation. Saucy is rotten and hysterical. Becca learns to be better person because she loves a pig.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Rubi.
1,683 reviews5 followers
March 1, 2023
Cute story!

This was such an adorable story!
It starts with Becca not being the best friend she could have been. She wants to fit in, especially since she doesn't feel special even at home, but then she feels bad about her behavior.
After she loses her friend, she rescues a little pig. That act of kindness brings her joy, love, and a sense of purpose. Her parents are supportive but they do tell her she can't keep it. Honestly, she had some awesome parents and brothers that cared. It was such a beautiful thing to read.
Pretty soon her brothers help her rescue more pigs and they get the whole community involved!
The book talks about the suffering some animals go through in factories and farms. But the kids did something about it and I think thats a good model for kids to see in a story. The pigs also helped her open up and get her friend back! Really enjoyed this one 😍
Profile Image for Emilee (emileereadsbooks).
1,333 reviews25 followers
August 24, 2020
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for a free digital copy for my review.

What a fun middle grade novel about Becca (who is a quadruplet) rescuing a tiny sick pig she finds on her family’s nightly walk. All her brothers have their own thing, and being a pig owner becomes hers. But the pig, who she names Saucy to match it’s personality, maybe more than Becca bargained for. Saucy not only has an attitude, but is growing very fast and is quite a destructive creature. Becca has to learn to do what is best even when it’s not easy, and that lesson just keeps getting reinforced. I loved the lessons that Becca and her brothers learn and how this family sticks together.
Profile Image for Laura Hill.
796 reviews51 followers
August 25, 2020
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on September 29th, 2020.
A modern day Charlotte’s Web (minus the spider)!

Saucy is a tiny (though not for long), almost-dead, in-desperate-need-of-rescue piglet found by the side of the road. Her rescuer? Becca — a quadruplet who feels much less interesting than her three more focused brothers (Jammer, a hockey star; KC, a physics nerd; and Bailey, a sensitive, wheelchair whiz due to his Cerebral Palsy). But once Becca gets into the fascinating world of Pig Activism, she really comes into her own.

Some great messages about growing up!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 106 reviews

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