Get to know Lorena, the grandmother from Newbery Medalist and National Book Award-winning author Cynthia Kadohata’s Saucy—an irrepressible and heartwarming story about a girl and her ever-growing pig.
The Children’s Book Review: How did your parents come up with your name?
Cynthia Kadohata, in the voice of Lorena: That’s an interesting story. My mother was very strict, unlike my son and his wife, who in my opinion should have a few more rules around the house. They actually let my granddaughter, Becca, watch The Walking Dead, which is much too bloody for a young child. That is, I haven’t seen the show personally, but I looked up information about it because…well. As far as the answer to your question, my mother lost her wedding ring, and the woman who found it was named Lorena. So they named me Lorena. Huh!
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I get up automatically at exactly five-forty-five every morning. I’m a very disciplined person. Oh, do you mean why do I get out of bed every morning? Well, what else would a person do?
I see you have a bag with you. Will you tell us what you keep inside of it?
Are you hungry right now? Can we fix you anything to eat? What is your favorite dish?
I’m very particular about what I eat, so thank you kindly, but I like to fix my own dinner. I make my meals just before I get hungry and eat right away. Otherwise I might stuff myself. Then I sit with the family for their dinner, but I just watch them eat. My grandkids need to chew better. When you get to be my age, you understand the importance of chewing. You wouldn’t understand, though, you’re too young.
Do you have a favorite song?
Anything by Englebert Humperdinck. He’s vastly underrated. Also, that man with the tonsils – I swear you can see his tonsils when he sings. I saw him in Las Vegas once when my husband was alive. Tom something, I believe his name was.
Are you a rule follower or rule breaker?
I try to be neither. Either way is abnormal, and I try to be normal.
When was the last time you felt embarrassed?
My grandkids, the way they dress, I don’t understand it. Does that answer your question?
Are there any relationships you want to repair?
No. I hurt a girl’s feelings once in high school. She deserved it, but that doesn’t make it right. I guess I could call her up. I found her name on the Internet. I swear to you she did deserve it, but sometimes I think maybe I should call her.
What makes you feel proud?
Please don’t tell them, because I don’t want them getting full of themselves. I want them to be nice kids. But my grandchildren are extraordinary. They really are. But don’t tell them.
If you weren’t answering the questions in this interview right now, what would you be doing?
I used to like soap operas, but now I like to play spades on the computer.
Do you have any secrets you would like to share with us before you go?
I’ve been waiting for someone to ask me that for a long time! When my late husband and I first started dating, I hadn’t broken up with my other boyfriend yet. I took two weeks to break up with him, because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings – he was in love with me. It may be hard for you to believe that an old woman like me was in such demand at one time. I’m crotchety and old and forgetful, I know that, and it’s hard to believe what I used to be like. But back to the point. Those two weeks weren’t fun. The guilt…Excuse me, I…sometimes…let me dab my eyes…my husband was a good man. I have a wonderful life, a very fine life, but my husband was a good man. I just want people to know that. Thank you, it’s a relief to tell someone this secret.
Written by Cynthia Kadohata
Publisher’s Synopsis: From Newbery Medalist and National Book Award-winning author Cynthia Kadohata comes an irrepressible and heartwarming story about a girl and her ever-growing pig, Saucy–perfect for fans of The One and Only Ivan and Flora & Ulysses!
Being a quadruplet can make it hard to stand out from the crowd. Becca’s three brothers all have something that makes them…them. Bailey has his music and dancing, Jammer plays hockey, and K.C. thinks they’re all living in a simulation and doesn’t see the point of doing much of anything. Becca is the only one with nothing to make her special.
But when she finds a tiny, sick piglet on the side of the road, Becca knows this is it. This is her thing. She names the piglet Saucy and between her own pleading and Saucy’s sweet, pink face, Becca convinces her family to take her in. Soon, Saucy is as big a part of the family as anyone else–and getting bigger. With each pound Saucy gains, the more capable she becomes of destroying the house and landing Becca in trouble.
Some tough decisions need to be made about Becca’s pet, and her search for solutions brings to light exactly where Saucy came from. Turns out, there are a lot more scared piglets out there, and saving them may take Becca and her brothers finally doing something together.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books | ISBN-13: 978-1442412781
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About the Author
As a child, Cynthia Kadohata’s biggest life goal was not to be a writer. It was to own a dog. Since then, she has had six rescue dogs as her best friends. And, she has been extremely fortunate to have mostly worked as a writer during her adult life. She is the author of ten children’s books, including Kira-Kira, winner of the Newbery Medal; The Thing About Luck, winner of the National Book Award; Weedflower, winner of the Jane Addams Peace Award; Cracker, winner of six state awards as voted on by kids; A Place to Belong, longlisted for the National Book Award; and the upcoming Saucy, about a piglet like millions of others, yet also TOTALLY herself.
For more information, visit https://cynthiakadohata.com/.
This interview with Lorena, a character from Saucy, was conducted between Cynthia Kadohata and Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Books About Pets, Character Interviews, Family Relationships, Meet the Characters, Middle Grade Books, and Pigs.