Otherwise Known As Pig

Catch Tilly

Wakefield Press

November 2019

$24.99 AU

202p pb

ISBN: 978-1743056790

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Life sucks for Morgan Lohdi, otherwise known as Pig. Used as the school punching bag he's bruised and harassed and doesn't have anything resembling a friend. Maybe it would be OK if he could keep his mouth shut. But Morgan has a sarcastic tongue that others don't find funny. The there's Lissa, the girl he thought could be his friend. Who might even have been something more- if the bullies hadnít made her turn her back. When the Art room burns down and Morgan's one safe haven disappears, things get much worse and he's determined to finally make it stop. But will learning to fight back work? Or is it possible to turn the other cheek? Just maybe, the answers will come from an unlikely source.

This novel is full of characters that evoke real emotions. Sometimes, these emotions are positive, like Morgan, the main character of the novel. But the love I developed for Morgan was nothing compared to the blinding contempt I felt for every letter of Storminís actions. I hated him. I hated how he made me think back to my own experiences of bullies, the mornings spent in the principalís office, the letters home about misconduct. But that is what this novel does best. It doesnít go into the complex topic of bullying heavy-handed and viewed from the perspective of an adult. Thereís no happy ending where the bully redeems themselves because they had a bad home life. Often in life, you donít see the other view and, when writing fiction, people tend to forget that. Not Tilly though. The antagonists are largely unreformed and, honestly, the novel reads better because of that. Bullies have control over what they do, they are constantly told what is wrong. But often they are left unpunished for a long time, like in Otherwise Known as Pig, however, when the consequences finally catch up, the sense of satisfaction that filled me was overwhelming for a novel. The only issue is that there is an odd lack of character development in terms of Morgan, the main character. He overcomes his bullies, makes friends and seems generally more relaxed in his life, but his way of thinking doesnít really see any change. But, regardless of that, this novel was a true joy to read.

Raisa, age 15

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