Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
(Joey Pigza Books)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 12 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

"They say I'm wired bad, or wired sad, but there's no doubt about it -- I'm wired."

Joey Pigza's got heart, he's got a mom who loves him, and he's got "dud meds," which is what he calls the Ritalin pills that are supposed to even out his wild mood swings. Sometimes Joey makes bad choices. He learns the hard way that he shouldn't stick his finger in the pencil sharpener, or swallow his house key, or run with scissors. Joey ends up bouncing around a lot - and eventually he bounces himself all the way downown, into the district special-ed program, which could be the end of the line. As Joey knows, if he keeps making bad choices, he could just fall between the cracks for good. But he is determined not to let that happen.

In this antic yet poignant new novel, Jack Gantos has perfect pitch in capturing the humor, the off-the-wall intensity, and the serious challenges that life presents to a kid dealing with hyper-activity and related disorders.

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key is a 1998 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.

 

About Jack Gantos

See more books from this Author
Jack Gantos has written books for people of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert Honors, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book, and Dead End in Norvelt, winner of the Newbery Medal and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Jack was raised in Norvelt, Pennsylvania, and when he was seven, his family moved to Barbados. He attended British schools, where there was much emphasis on reading and writing, and teachers made learning a lot of fun. When the family moved to south Florida, he found his new classmates uninterested in their studies, and his teachers spent most of their time disciplining students. Jack retreated to an abandoned bookmobile (three flat tires and empty of books) parked out behind the sandy ball field, and read for most of the day. The seeds for Jack's writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister's diary and decided he could write better than she could. He begged his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school, mostly from standing outside the teachers' lounge and listening to their lunchtime conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories. While in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture books. After a series of well-deserved rejections, they published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. It was a success and the beginning of Jack's career as a professional writer. Jack continued to write children's books and began to teach courses in children's book writing and children's literature. He developed the master's degree program in children's book writing at Emerson College and the Vermont College M.F.A. program for children's book writers. He now devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking. He lives with his family in Boston, Massachusetts.
 
Published June 2, 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 172 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Humor & Entertainment, Education & Reference. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

If Rotten Ralph were a boy instead of a cat, he might be Joey, the hyperactive hero of Gantos's new book, except that Joey is never bad on purpose.

| Read Full Review of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

In a starred review, PW called this National Book Award finalist an accurate, compassionate and humorous appraisal of a boy with attention-deficit disorder. Ages 10-up. (Feb.)

May 01 2000 | Read Full Review of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

The final title in the saga that includes the Newbery Honor book Joey Pigza Loses Control finds the hero flustered by his parent's questionable reunion and his ailing grandmother's efforts to push Joey to make friends.

| Read Full Review of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

In a starred review, PW said, "Like its predecessor, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, this high-voltage, honest novel mixes humor, pain, fear and courage with deceptive ease."

| Read Full Review of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

First introduced in Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, Gantos's hyperactive hero Joey Pigza has not lost any of his liveliness, but after undergoing therapy and a stint in special ed., he now can exercise a reasonable amount of self-controlDprovided he takes his meds.

| Read Full Review of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Desire Lines) humanely examines nature (both Joey's father and grandmother are as ""wired up"" as he) versus nurture (abandonment by Joey's parents, abuse by his grandmother, children's taunts) as factors in Joey's problems.

| Read Full Review of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

In a starred review, PW called this National Book Award finalist ""an accurate, compassionate and humorous appraisal of a boy with attention-deficit disorder."" Ages 10-up.

| Read Full Review of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

In a starred review, PW called this National Book Award finalist an accurate, compassionate and humorous appraisal of a boy with attention-deficit disorder. Ages 10-up. (Feb.)

May 01 2000 | Read Full Review of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key ...

Suite 101

In this era of screens, speed, sports and multiple distractions, parents can often forget to read to their children.

Apr 04 2008 | Read Full Review of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key ...

Common Sense Media

And given that medicating children with this syndrome is controversial, some readers may be bothered that the solution is almost entirely a matter of giving Joey the right medication.

| Read Full Review of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key ...

BookIdeas.com

Privacy Policy: This site is read-only at the user level, and thus collects no information on it's users.

| Read Full Review of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key ...

KidsReads

Joey's dad says not to tell his mom about the patches, and Joey wants to believe that his dad wouldn't steer him wrong.

| Read Full Review of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key ...

Reader Rating for Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key
80%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 384 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×