A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
A beautiful, tender, rough and haunting tale - this American classic is the story of a 13 year old Shaker boy growing up on a Vermont farm.
The seasons pass, life and death are part of the cycle.
Even though he's Shaker and, according to his father "it's not the Shaker Way to take frills for being neighborly. All that Robert done was what any farmer would do for another" - Rob accepts a small pig from a neighbor as a thank you for saving his cow's life.
He keeps the pig, names her, and gives her his devotion. He wrestles with grammar in the schoolhouse. He hears rumors of sin. He is taken -- at last -- to the Rutland Fair. He broadens his heart to make room, even for Baptists. And when his father, who can neither read nor write but whose wisdom and skill of country things is part of his bones, entrusts Rob with his final secret, the boy makes the sacrifice that completes his passage into manhood.
"All is told with quiet humor and simplicity. Here are lives lived by earthy reason -- in a novel that, like a hoedown country fiddler's tune, rings at the same time with both poignancy and cheer."
Study guide: http://thebestnotes.com/booknotes/Day_No_Pigs_Would_Die/Day_No_Pigs_Would_Die01.html