By Chris Kurtz.
At my last library visit, I found a gem of a book that was the one I thought I’d like least of all. The library only had one of the six books I was searching for so I had to browse for good stories instead. I picked up this book because it was small and I liked the illustrations. I read a few pages from the middle and decided I liked the tone. I read the book flap and thought, “This will be a typical cute story. Maybe boring but good for research.” (I write middle grade so I like to read middle grade) I was surprisingly incorrect.
This story has its cute elements because there are talking animals, but it is a horrible story. I mean that in a very good way actually, but I did say more than once to myself “Why am I reading this? This is terrible.” Think Jack London and harsh realities. This amazing story about Flora the pig does not tell the cute safe story you’d think when you see the Pig on the front with her pink fluffy winter coat wrapped around her. It is so much more.
Flora is the epitome of young and innocent. She sees the world as beautiful and sees the best in everyone. In this story, she finds out how wrong she is and how terrible the world can be. She takes some emotional hits before facing the facts, but she gets there. My heart bled for her from the very beginning and it never stopped. In the end, Flora is stronger than me and faces reality with more courage than I’d expect from a middle-grade cute pig character.
We should all aspire to be more like Flora. This story is about courage, believing in yourself and making friends with flawed people and doing the right thing for yourself and for others. Far more powerful than I’d ever imagined it to be “The Adventures of a South Pole Pig” is a fantastic journey for any child or adult and I highly recommend it.