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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great idea, grippingly told
Cameron is a boy who loves sport, but a virus has left his heart weak. Increasingly unable to do the things he loves, and with a new baby in the family on the way, he must have a heart transplant. No human donor is available, so he has the choice of having a ground-breaking operation: a pig's heart will replace his own. It may sound weirdly like something out of Snow...
Published on 19 Jan 2003 by A. Craig

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great but...
Great and exciting book but what about the ending? What happens next does he see his brother or not? The book should not have a dead end.
Published 12 months ago by Valerie


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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great idea, grippingly told, 19 Jan 2003
By 
A. Craig "Amanda Craig" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Cameron is a boy who loves sport, but a virus has left his heart weak. Increasingly unable to do the things he loves, and with a new baby in the family on the way, he must have a heart transplant. No human donor is available, so he has the choice of having a ground-breaking operation: a pig's heart will replace his own. It may sound weirdly like something out of Snow White, but the operation works, at first, and suddenly he's able to live a normal life again.
Then his best friend's father tells a newspaper, and Cameron has the horror of living with tabloid journalists calling him Pig Heart Boy. How a brave but normal kid copes with this, the possibility of dying and losing his best friend Marlon is described in very readable, fast-paced prose.
My 10 year old daughter read this recently as a class text. It's a terrifically good book, and one of the things we both like about it is that it describes the life of a black family without any of the usual politically correct stuff you so often get. Cameron is just a kid, one whom you get to know and care about a lot. In a quiet way, Blackman is a real revolutionary for insisting on this.
I also thoroughly recommend Blackman's 'Noughts & Crosses' for older readers of 12+ as a brilliant SF novel about a world in which black people rule and white people are the underdogs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Discusses the pros and cons of animal organ transplants without sugar coating it, 4 July 2007
This review is from: Pig-Heart Boy (Paperback)
Cameron has a credible voice, helped by the use of the first person and Blackman perfectly captures the envy he feels for his healthy friends. Cameron knows that there's little chance of a donor becoming available to replace his heart so when his father tells him that he's contacted Dr Bryce, a former heart surgeon who's currently working on engineering pigs for organ donation, you understand why Cameron wants to go for it. Cameron's parents voice the pros and cons of such an experimental operation but Blackman also shows how Cameron's condition has taken a toll on the parents' marriage.

Blackman gets across the science of using animal organs for human donation and sets up the ethical issues. She doesn't shy away from the actions of animal rights extremists and she uses the hyperbole of the media reaction to feed into those attitudes. My favourite scenes in the book are those between Cameron and Julie after the operation where Blackman highlights the changes in both characters as a result of the procedure.

I was less convinced by the relationship between Marlon and Cameron, mainly because I didn't quite buy into Cameron's willingness to forgive Marlon's actions (no matter how understandable those were) - but again, it's a good way of showing how the procedure changed things for Cameron, things that he wasn't really prepared for.

Blackman's decision not to sugar coat her book extends to the ending - she leaves it pretty open and yet the reader is in no doubt as to what Cameron's fate will be.

The scenes with the grandmother didn't work for me and seemed far too artificial a device for what Blackman wanted to achieve and I wasn't wild about the baby element, but it did give Blackman the chance to have Cameron monologue his inner-feelings about events, which worked for me in terms of fleshing out his character.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cameron needs a heart but theres no human hearts just a pigs, 8 May 2000
By A Customer
What i liked about this novel was everytime something happened you knew what people were thinking about it and what there expressions were and how they felt. I liked these things in the story because it makes the story all more iesier to understand and makes it feel like your there and its really happening like your apart of it as it unfolds around youas you read it.
What I disliked about this novel was that it did not last as long as it should had because I found it was far to intersting to put down.
When the ending came I wanted to read it again but I of wanted the novel to carry on. I enjoyed this book a lot and hope that there will be a Pig Heart Boy 2 coming out soon so I no what happened after the first novel left off.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pulsing with life, 16 Sep 2008
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This review is from: Pig-Heart Boy (Paperback)
Delicately addressing matters such as disability, death, peer pressure, self-esteem and the school/family balance, `Pig Heart Boy' is a very real and very tidy book. The novel cleverly describes Cameron Kelsey's heart-problems that lead him onto opting in for heart transplant surgery, where his own failing heart will be replaced with that of a genetically modified one from a pig. As a result of this major surgery, the young boy's life is dramatically changed, not only including a tough recovery, but upsets with friends and family and relentless media and protest bombardment.

This book is a good example of Malorie Blackman's pure-novel work and has similar themes that make it clear it is from the same author as `Cloudbusting'. Friendships are never clear-cut, and describe falling out and disputes that cut close to the bone.

There is great potential for cross-curricular work in Science (investigating the heart and how real life surgery would be) and PSHE (why Cameron felt as he did and similar experiences felt by pupils). This is a high calibre read for Year 5 and 6 and can no doubt be thoroughly enjoyed by any age onwards, but also meets sometimes taboo subjects head on. The only issue I feel is necessary to point out is that ethical and moral beliefs may cause some readers to take offence; the clearest area for debate is the manner which the author's own views on animal testing may influence a young reader to believe the same. Despite the sensitivity and great skill Malorie Blackman shows in discussing this, it is perhaps a subject that will never be welcomed by all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read but be prepared, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Pig-Heart Boy (Paperback)
Very sad.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pig Heart Boy, 19 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Pig-Heart Boy (Kindle Edition)
This book was very touching and thought-provoking about a boy and his family going through hard times when the boy Cameron needs a heart transplant because his heart it's failing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: Pig-Heart Boy (Kindle Edition)
I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE reading and I could not put this book down I I an amazing book really recommend it!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars My review of Pig Heart Boy, 19 May 2014
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This review is from: Pig-Heart Boy (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book as it was gripping and so full of life, I didn't want it to end, I wanted to find out if he lived to see his little brother or sister. I would recommend this book from ages 12-20 trust me you will love this book as much as I did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Go away. I don't want to write a review, 12 April 2014
This review is from: Pig-Heart Boy (Kindle Edition)
This is ridiculous. You should be able to rate a book you've bought without having to write a review. Bye
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story-well written, 12 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Pig-Heart Boy (Kindle Edition)
Well written - very controversial issue dealt with beautifully. I just wanted to keep reading and not put the book down.
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Pig-Heart Boy
Pig-Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman (Paperback - 5 Feb 2004)
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