Cover image for Pig and the shrink
Pig and the shrink
Todd, Pamela.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
185 pages ; 22 cm
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.
Reading Level:
670 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.8 6.0 34883.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.4 11 Quiz: 23865 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

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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?

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-7. Tucker, a seventh-grader, feels pressured by his father, who expects him to excel in science. When he decides to do a science-fair project on the topic of food and fat kids (translated by his advisor into "nutrition and obesity"), Tucker pressures schoolmate Angelo Pighetti into becoming his guinea pig for various weight-loss trials. The experiment flops, but Tucker comes to know himself better and to value his friend Angelo just as he is. The large cast includes several minor ethnic characters, whose portrayals are sympathetic but generic. Still, this first-person story rolls along in readable fashion, sparked by humorous situations and witty dialogue. --Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

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 parentsÄhis 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.