Book Club–Book Review–A Day No Pigs Would Die–Robert Newton Peck

A Day No Pigs Would Die


The title to the book I am about to recommend scared me off many times as a kid–“A Day No Pigs Would Die.”  But ignore the title for a moment, and let me tell you about this award-winning book from 1972.

Robert is a Shaker boy growing up in Vermont at the time when Calvin Coolidge was president.  As a Shaker, he is not allowed to fight back or swear, although he does both.  Ultimately, Robert respects the Shaker ways of hard work, no frills, and regular “go’in ta meeting”.  Love fills his home–not with fuzzy sayings or empty gifts or leniency, but with respect for one another.  Robert has a solid home and a solid foundation, and it is a good thing as he becomes the man of the family.  And yet despite the sadness of losing his dad, this book has my kids laughing and slapping their sides.  Like a raw Vermont day, this book is raw.  Nature and its events and happenings are part of the every-minute of this Shaker farming family.  Birth, death, baby kittens, breeding hogs, frog legs, thistles in the backside, “lick’ns”, baths–all in a straight forward Shaker simplicity.

And now, least I made it too complicated, let me tell you how my son described the book.  LBG (Little Big Guy) interrupted me during the first chapter and said, “I love this book.  It has bad words, a naked boy, and goiters.”

If you can handle bad words, a naked boy, and goiters, then you and your kiddos might enjoy this book.

And if you would prefer a little less “rawness” the same author Robert Newton Peck wrote a series of books called “Soup”.  They are basically about the same boy, but without the coming of age morals and lessons included in “A Day No Pigs Would Die.”

Soup on IceSoup

You can click on the blue links to go directly to Amazon.

If you would like a link about the author click here.)

Soup + Soup on Ice, Soup on Fire, Soup and his Uncle, Soup and Hoop, etc. . .

A Day No Pigs Would Die

But before I close, let me define some words and terms in the book A Day No Pigs Would Die.

goiter -A goitre or goiter (Latin gutteria, struma), is a swelling of the thyroid gland,[1] which can lead to a swelling of the neck or larynx (voice box). Goitre is a term that refers to an enlargement of the thyroid (thyromegaly) and can be associated with a thyroid gland that is functioning properly or not.

Worldwide, over 90% cases of goitre are caused by iodine deficiency.[2]

File:Kone med stor struma.jpg

long lammis table – a large simple table made from several layers of wood.

Learning, Vermont – is a fictional town.  There is no such place.  The author won’t say where he was born.  Wikipedia comments.

stone = 14 pounds

corn cratch –

 (photo from here.)

capstan’s axle –


Ethan Allen – If your history is foggy, click here to read about him and the Green Mountain Boys.

Abner Doubleday – He is credited with inventing baseball  (not so true), but generally held.

butternut –

 (photo from here.)

sump – A sump (American and Canadian English: oil pan) is a low space that collects any often-undesirable liquids such as water or chemicals.  (from Wikipedia.)

Major Robert Rogers – an early colonial hero who later sided with the British during the War of Independence.  Click here for the Wikipedia link.

diagraming a sentence –

Here is a link to the Pledge of Allegiance Diagramed. 🙂

There are more terms and words, but these will get you through the first few chapters.

Again, A Day No Pigs Would Die deals with death, live, procreation, love, respect,and hard work.  The series called Soup is  pure humor.



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3 Responses to Book Club–Book Review–A Day No Pigs Would Die–Robert Newton Peck

  1. Christie says:

    Glad to see you have written another book review–I always appreciate your book recco’s! This sounds like a book my son would enjoy. It has been on my radar screen, and I think we have a copy somewhere, but so far we haven’t read it.


    • whitsendmom says:

      Let me know what your son thinks, as I think it is a good “boy’s coming to age book”, but my view may be a little stiff and Quaker-ish on this subject. There is a squel to the book, which is also good. I can’t think of the title right now, but any Google search would give you an answer. On your site, I am enjoying the color photography.


  2. Mag Daggler says:

    Terrible book, nothing but violence against animals. Killing things makes you a man, apparently. Oh and Shakers didn’t have kids, and there’s no such thing as “the book of Shaker”. Peck is a fraud.


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