Author: Robert Newton Peck
What To Read Next: A House Like a Lotus by Madeleine L'Engle, A Separate Piece by John Knowles

Published in 1972, this coming-of-age novel draws heavily on the author's own childhood in Vermont. Robert, while skipping school to avoid a bully, sees that his neighbor's cow is having trouble giving birth. Putting himself in danger, he biths the calf and tries to save the cow. His neighbor is so grateful, he gives Robert a pig. Soon, the boy and the beast become the best of friends. But Robert's pops is a butcher.

This timeless tale explores a strained relationship between a father and son, whose respect for each other and love for an animal could save them both.