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The Adventures of a South Pole Pig: A novel…

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig: A novel of snow and courage

by Chris Kurtz

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985123,235 (4.19)None



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Showing 5 of 5
Reminiscent of Charlottes Web, it's hard not to enjoy this tale of a determined pig. Flora longs for adventure, and adventure finds her. Along the way she finds the true meaning of friendship, teamwork, and gratitude. Adorable and sweet. ( )
  Dmtcer | May 4, 2016 |
Recommended Ages: Gr. 3-5

Plot Summary:

Setting: Flora is bored of her small pen she shares with her mother and brothers. She wants adventure. She digs holes, makes up games to play with her brothers, and befriends a cat named Luna. Flora is jealous of Luna's independence and ability to do what she wants. One day, Flora manages to escape her pen and runs through the corn fields. She gloriously watches the sled dogs practice and tries to keep up, impressing the farmer. Eventually, she is caught and put back in the pen to her dismay. When a man separates Flora's mother from her piglets, they realize trouble is coming. A man tries to pick up a piglet but they work together to avoid getting caught. Hoping for adventure, Flora gives herself to the man and she ends up in a truck with Oscar in another cage. She tries to make friends with him by complimenting his skill and hard work. At the shipyard, she befriends another cat Sophia who ends up being forced upon the ship to help kill rats. On board, Flora is saddened and confused as to why she is not with the dogs because she thinks she was chosen to pull the sled. Stuck in the lowest level with the rats, she perseveres and tells herself she will keep practicing and get stronger. So she pulls the crate she is chained to and gets stronger and stronger. Scared of the rats and barely getting a chance to eat her food before they swarm her, Flora is thrilled to see Sophia. However, Sophia highly exaggerated her hunting skills and was forced out of the kitchen to the lowest level because of her poor abilities. Aleric was punished to the lowest level of the ship and must kill rats. He doesn't know how he's going to do it, but he sees the way Flora and Sophia work together and starts to get credit for their kills. The captain comes down to see them all at work and is very impressed by Flora. On the captain's attempt to head back up to watch for icebergs, the ship crashes into one and water quickly flows into the lowest level. Flora drags the captain to the top of the stairs while swimming and men are able to grab him. They make it onto a rescue boat and land on Antarctic ice. Saddened by the loss of so many dogs and men, the few remaining make a plan. Struggling for food, Oscar and Sophia bring Flora to a secret location to hide so she is not eaten. Most of the men leave on a rescue mission, but Oscar and the Captain are left behind as they are both not well. Aleric insists he should build a sled and go on the few day trip to the place where there is more food, but the Captain doesn't allow it. Will they survive?

Flora - pig, has 7 brothers
Alfred - Flora's smallest brother
Sam - Flora's brother
Tommy - Flora's brother
Luna - cat
Oscar - lead dog
Sophia - cat
Amos - chef on board
Aleric - cabin boy who got caught stealing and was forced to kill rats

Recurring Themes: survival, adventure, friendship, perseverance, practice, Antarctic

Controversial Issues: none

Personal Thoughts: This book totally surprised me. I really liked it! It had the right amount of character development and action. The characters were strong and funny. I knew the pig would survive the journey but I was impressed and surprised with the way she managed to survive. The author surprised me; minor things were predictable (the pig would eventually pull the sled) but the way the author got the characters to that point was exciting and unpredictable. It will be interested in book talk this book without giving away too much because the most exciting conflicts are on Antarctica, but that's the last third of the book.

Genre: fantasy - talking animals

Pacing: fast
Characters: very good character development


Readalike: Kate DiCamillo ( )
  pigeonlover | Aug 12, 2015 |
This is a good pig story. Flora is a solid character, a pig but more than a pig, or at least she initially has aspirations to the "but more". Kurtz does a great job of creating the scenarios in which Flora is, wants to be, and becomes more than a fair pig. The farm, the ship, the South Pole are all settings where Flora faces the challenges of being who one is and wanting more. Her pig positivity connects her to her pig family, a couple of cats, a dog, a boy, and a ship captain. Rats, ships, icebergs, and survival on a snowy south pole create the adventures.

The story keeps the reader reading, and Jennifer Black Reinhardt's illustrations pop up at good times throughout the story. I was afraid the "adventure" part of the title might be a little on the short side, but it's not true. This is a good adventure. Individual readers in grades 3-5 would enjoy it. I also think it would make for a nice classroom or one on one read aloud. ( )
  margothere.library | Aug 8, 2015 |
Charming. Some events seem unlikely (ok, the whole thing is unlikely, but some more than others), but overall, the book was sweet. It provided a few LOL moments, too, ( )
  4hounds | Oct 4, 2014 |
Spunkiest porcine protagonist since Wilbur. This one has a lot of spirit and sense of adventure. Not content to live out her life in a barn, Flora becomes curious about the sled dogs training in the fields and instantly wants to join in on their journey. I love Flora's attitude! ( )
  Mad.River.Librarian | Apr 23, 2014 |
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0547634552, Hardcover)

Flora the pig was born for adventure: “If it’s unexplored and needs to get dug up, call me. I’m your pig,” she says. The day Flora spots a team of sled dogs is the day she sets her heart on becoming a sled pig. Before she knows it, she’s on board a ship to Antarctica for the most exhilarating—and dangerous—adventure of her life. This poignant novel of a purposeful pig is sure to become a favorite with any young readers who have ever dreamed of exploring the great beyond.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:55 -0400)

"Flora the pig ditches the sedentary life on the farm for an adventure in Antarctica, where she escapes the knife and lives her dream of pulling a sled with a team of dogs"--

» see all 2 descriptions

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