Xenotranplantation – Pig-Heart Boy

Pig-Heart Boy is the fictional account of Cameron, a thirteen year old boy who takes part in a pioneering operation to receive a pig’s heart.  An excellent and thought provoking story by Malorie Blackman (Corgi Books, ISBN 0552551663), it was also made into a TV serial in the UK.  As you might guess from the age of the principal character, this resource works best for secondary rather than university students.  This is particularly true for the TV version.  There are, however, several short sections of the book that could be read out as a scene-setter for any age group.  I particularly like the three and a half page section from the start of Chapter 3, where Cameron overhears his parents arguing about the operation (the first he knows about it) to the point where he storms upstairs and declares to himself “How dare they? It was my body.  My heart”.  

The equivalent section occurs in episode 1 of the TV version (‘The D word’).  The text is altered somewhat, but has the advantage that it cuts straight into the family going to visit Professor Rae, the xenotransplantation expert.  Hence the 5 minute clip from 14:30 to 19:14 would make a very useful and thought-provoking intro to the topic.

12 Responses to Xenotranplantation – Pig-Heart Boy

  1. ellena says:

    hi i have got to do a essayon the pig heart boy from chapter 23 onwards would it be poosible if you could give me some hints on how to do this essay as i need some help

    the 1st question is how does cammeron develop through the book

  2. shalini says:

    hi, i need to write a report on pig heart boy, i read a while ago, and dont really remeber it, can you help me?!

  3. tasha says:

    i frt dis bk was gd we read it in my class

  4. Steve says:

    Hi! Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the TV series? I don’t think it has been released on DVD or video, has it?
    Thanks

  5. There is no commercial DVD release, but I know that the BUFVC has off-air recordings which can be supplied to member organisation who possess an ERA licence (see https://bioethicsbytes.wordpress.com/what-are-bufvc-and-trilt/ for more details)

  6. Max, Laura and Jason says:

    We are researching xenotransplantation for Religious Studies and find this story very helpful for our reasearch.
    However, it would be more helpful if people sorted out their grammar on this site as their writing is illegible.

  7. Please let me know if you find any difficulties with the grammar in the formal postings – comments tend to be left unedited

  8. Rebecca says:

    Hi, i love this book, i dont know what i would do in camerons situation, hes very brave, and i hate marlon for telling the press!

  9. extremekd says:

    This book is interesting, If anyone knows, has Malorie Blackman actually released a statement about what happens after the book as it is a bit of a cliffhanger?

  10. […] have increasingly looked to animals, such as pigs to help solve the heart donor shortfall (Also see ‘Xenotransplantation – Pig-Heart Boy’). Please see the following news articles: April 4th 1969, TIME – Natural v. Artifical Hearts, […]

  11. megan says says:

    i am reading the book for english and so far it is intresting for now. iam stuk on advantages and disadvages this is for homework.

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