Magnificent Pigs by Cat Rambo
I don't remember where I first found this story but it's been saved in my documents folder for five years and I'd never read it until today. And surprise, surprise I really liked it. It tells the story of Aaron a 21 year old who has to take care of Jilly, his 11 year old sister when their parents die. They live on a farm with pigs. Jilly gets sick and Aaron enlists the help of a couple different people to serve as nurses for Jilly. Aaron also takes up tattooing to try to bring in some extra money. I'm not going to reveal more than that.
Story: 9 of 10
From the opening scene of Jilly reading ahead on Charlotte's Web and finding out that Wilbur dies to the final scene of magical beauty, this story had me. Speaking of the final scene, it's really is beautiful. I've never heard of Cat Rambo but I'll read more of her stories.
Teachability: 9 of 10
First off, I think the kids would enjoy this story. It's not too long, it deals with kids, it has some wonderful writing, and there is a sense of tragedy in Jilly's illness. Also, Mrs. Huber is an excellent example of a secondary character who pushes the narrative and has life. I'll teach this story to my freshmen and I'm sure they'll love it.