Cover image for Saving Marty / by Paul Griffin.
Saving Marty / by Paul Griffin.
Electronic Access:

Publication Information:
New York, NY : Dial Books for Young Readers, [2017]

Physical Description:
195, 13 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
"When Lorenzo adopts a runt piglet destined for auction, an unexpected, life-changing friendship forms"-- Provided by publisher.
Audience/Reading Level:
Interest age level: 10-14.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 4.3.
Geographic Term:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
GRI Paperback Junior Animals Fiction

On Order



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 chance comes when he adopts Marty, a runt piglet.

Marty is extraordinary--he thinks he's a dog and acts like one too--and his bond with Renzo is truly one of a kind. At first, the family farm seems like the perfect home for Marty, but as he approaches 350 pounds, it becomes harder for Renzo to convince his mom that a giant pig makes a good pet. So when Marty causes a dangerous (and expensive) accident, Renzo knows Marty's time is up. He'd do anything and everything for his best friend, but will everything be enough to save Marty?

Paul Griffin masterfully melds the heartrending and the hopeful in this unforgettable story about the power of friendship . . . and the unsung heroes all around us.

Author Notes

Paul Griffin is the award-winning author of When Friendship Followed Me Home , Ten Mile River , The Orange Houses , and Burning Blue . He lives, writes, and trains dogs in New York City.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Griffin (When Friendship Followed Me Home) delivers a tender, sensitive portrayal of a boy beginning to wonder about his place in the world. Lorenzo Ventura, over six feet tall and 250 pounds at age 11, discovers a runt piglet left behind on his family's Pennsylvania peach orchard. Bella, the family's pet Lab, has just given birth to a litter of puppies, so she and Renzo both become caretakers of the small pig, which he names Marty after his late father, an Army sergeant. As the months pass, Renzo faces several life-changing situations, including his friend Paloma's musical success and revelations about his father; Marty has become such a steadying force that Renzo can't imagine life without him. Griffin infuses kindness into almost every scene, his well-drawn characters leave lasting impressions, and he gracefully delves into themes that include love, sacrifice, friendship, and accountability. Many readers will know a Renzo, the big-hearted kid who's a little different and has both hardships and undiscovered talents. There are no easy solutions to the characters' problems, nor outright villains, just struggling people navigating life. Ages 10-14. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Lorenzo Ventura's sixth-grade year is hard: his mom struggles to save their peach orchard; his grandfather faces health problems; his best friend goes away to camp; and, worst of all, questions about his soldier dad's death still fester. But Renzo's adopted pet pig, Marty, sustains him through these challenges. Renzo's determination to keep Marty after an accident leads to satisfying surprises in this poignant, ultimately hopeful story. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.