Pig and the Shrink

Overview

Tucker Harrison has a big problem. The principal has nixed his handwriting analysis project for the science fair—can he help it if his teacher's handwriting shows a criminal mind? Now he quickly must come up with a project that's sure to dazzle the judges and get him into the State Math and Science Academy, something his father is counting on.

Tucker is desperately searching for an idea when he runs smack into Pig. Angelo Pighetti is the fat ...
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Overview

Tucker Harrison has a big problem. The principal has nixed his handwriting analysis project for the science fair—can he help it if his teacher's handwriting shows a criminal mind? Now he quickly must come up with a project that's sure to dazzle the judges and get him into the State Math and Science Academy, something his father is counting on.

Tucker is desperately searching for an idea when he runs smack into Pig. Angelo Pighetti is the fat kid in class, the one who always gets picked on. Suddenly Tucker has a brainstorm—why not make Pig his science fair project? If he can get Pig to lose weight he'll have a living, breathing, successful experiment. What could be more perfect?

But Tucker soon learns that Pig has his own ideas of how to live his life. What is there to do when your subject won't cooperate?

Seventh-grader Tucker needs to come up with a winning science fair project in a hurry, so he uses his fat friend Angelo as an experimental subject and in the process learns about more than just science.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Teenaged Tucker, also known as Shrink (because of his small stature), narrates this humorous first novel centering around his efforts to make Angelo Pighetti (aka Pig) the subject of his science fair project on "nutrition and obesity." The stakes are high: Tucker must win the fair in order to gain both admission into the State Math and Science Academy and approval from his high-achieving divorced parents--his mother, a sympathetic but distracted psychologist, and his absentee father, a demanding neurologist. Some readers may be skeptical when Tucker's keenly observant school principal doesn't question the flimsy parameters of his project and allows him to focus his analysis on only one subject. (The principal and Tucker's father both repeatedly admonish that "science is a tool for helping people.") However, the breezy narration and plausible ending more than offset this leap of logic. Among the cast are Pig's warm and exuberant family; Mr. Wong, the proprietor of Tucker and his mother's favorite restaurant, who dispenses sage advice with his hot and spicy chicken; and the eccentric Beth Ellen, a science fair rival, activist and vegetarian, who recognizes Angelo's true value all along. Readers struggling to accept others and themselves will be affirmed by this comedy of human foibles. Ages 10-up. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-After Tucker Harrison's science-fair project is rejected, he is forced to do some quick thinking. Inspiration comes when he bumps into Angelo "Pig" Pighetti, the heaviest kid in the seventh grade. Convincing Angelo to change his gourmand lifestyle for a study on childhood and obesity, however, takes some effort. In addition, Tucker must deal with bullies, other science competitors, and the rest of the Pighettis' hearty appetites. The first-person narrative unfolds through Tucker's eyes. By the end of the book, he has learned something about doing what is expected and doing what is right. Todd's characters are likable and realistically portrayed. A poignant subplot involves Tucker's faltering relationship with his father. An engaging, evenly paced novel with liberal amounts of humor thrown in.-Elaine Baran, Gwinnett County Public Library, Lawrenceville, GA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A very funny story about about two students who team up for a science fair project, for vastly different reasons. Tucker Harrison's father is a neurosurgeon and his mother is a psychologist; Tucker Harrison believes that he has to come up with a brilliant science fair project so he'll be able to go to the State Math and Science Academy next year. The day he runs into overweight Angelo Pighetti, he decides to study him; if he observes and helps Pig, as Angelo is called, lose weight, he may just win the honors he needs to impress his parents. Tucker reads up on fat and fiber, diets and overeating, but Pig keeps gaining weight instead of losing it. One of the problems is that Pig's family owns and operates a pizza restaurant; as Tucker watches the warm and loving family work together to make great food, he begins to realize that Pig isn't really cut out to be anyone's experiment. The boys' misunderstandings and then their friendship sink Tucker's project, but the author makes clear that Tucker gains a clear sense of Angelo's individuality and worth. Readers will be laughing as they comprehend the subtle but strong message about looking beyond outward appearances. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440415879
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/12/2000
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 670L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 7.68 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

This is Pamela Todd's first book for young readers.
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