A Day No Pigs Would Die
by Robert Newton Peck
Coming-of-Age; Children's Literature
If you don't agree that A Day No Pigs Would Die is a coming-of-age story, well, then, you haven't read the book. Check it out: We start out with a young, innocent, naïve narrator who goes through some seriously rough times. (We'd say that having to eat your own pet, for goodness' sake, not to mention watching your father die, comes in pretty high on the scale of rough times—but maybe that's just us.) But our hero comes out on the other side a totally different person. He's not a just a kid anymore, but an adult who has to take care of his family. Now that's a coming-of-age story if we ever saw one.
And as hard as it can be to see Rob go through the heartbreaking events of the story, the book is written in such a way that we see and feel the world from his point of view—the point of view of a kid. The fun times he has with Pinky, his excitement about his big adventure at the Rutland Fair, even his grief over his father's impending death—all of these things are presented to us through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy, and appeal first and foremost to the child in all of us.