A book by Robert Peck.

This book was required reading in my 7th grade class. It deals with a young boy coming to terms, Robert, with being a man in the early 1900s. He is the youngest in a poor farming family. His father gives him a hard time in his training to take care of their farm, by not letting him sleep late, scolding him harshly for messing up, etc.

Robert finds a homeless pig, Pinky, in his town, and takes it home to take care of it. His father turns it from Robert's pet to a pig meant for breeding and then slaughtering. He makes Robert watch when he forces the pig to mate with another, and when he slaughters it.

Near the end of the book, the father dies, and Robert taking care of everything on the farm, as well as all the arangements for the funeral, showing he has truly become a man in his father's eyes.

The final line, IIRC, of the book is "This would be a day that no pigs would die" shows that on that day, when his father was buried, nothing bad would happen.

Thanks to RubenAzarja for helping out with the names.