Cover image for Joey Pigza swallowed the key
Title:
Joey Pigza swallowed the key
Author:
Gantos, Jack.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : [Farrar, Straus and Giroux], [1998].
Physical Description:
153 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription meds wear off and he starts getting worked up and acting wired.
General Note:
Publisher imprint varies.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
970 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.9 5.0 29525.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.2 9 Quiz: 18755 Guided reading level: T.
ISBN:
9780374336646

9781250061683
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Searching...
Searching...
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

"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 theline. 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. This title has Common Core connections.

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


Author Notes

Jack Gantos was born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania on July 2, 1951. He received a BFA and a MA from Emerson College. While in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture books. After a series of rejections, they published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. His other books include Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book, and Dead End in Norvelt, which won the 2012 Newbery Medal. His memoir, Hole in My Life, won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert Honors. Jack's follow-up to Hole in My Life is The Trouble in Me He also teaches courses in children's book writing and children's literature. He dev.eloped 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.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-7. Joey Pigza, who lives with his hyperactive grandmother, understands that he's also "wired bad." Despite his best intentions, he can't concentrate and can't hold still. What's more, he can never resist an impulse: when his teacher assigns him to sharpening pencils to keep him from getting into mischief, he sharpens pencils, then chalk, then a Popsicle stick, and finally his own finger. He begins to settle down when his mother returns and gets him started on medication, but unfortunately, his morning pill wears off by noon every day. What makes this unusual is Gantos' sympathetic approach to all concerned. There are no bad guys among the adults, just well-meaning, occasionally exasperated grown-ups trying to help Joey get his behavior under control. Joey tells his own story, giving a vivid, keenly observed, detailed account of his actions and the reactions of others: "By lunchtime my meds had worn off again and I was spinning around in my chair like it was the Mad Hatter's Teacup ride at the church carnival." Gantos sometimes seems to be using Joey to inform readers, and occasionally makes Joey's comments seem too adult, but Joey is warm, lovable, and good-hearted, though maybe just a little too nice to be realistic. (He never even gets angry when he's deprived of the sugary treats he so craves.) Most teachers and students know at least one child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and this book will surely help them become more understanding, even as they enjoy Gantos' fresh writing style and tart sense of humor. --Susan Dove Lempke


Publisher's Weekly Review

Authentic-sounding first-person narration by a hyperactive boy gives readers an inside view of attention-deficit disorders. Joey Pigza is a "wired-up mess," and he is struggling to get on the right track. But no matter how hard Joey tries to be good, he usually ends up in trouble, sometimes harming himself or others. After an accident in which the tip of a classmate's nose is sliced off, Joey is suspended from school and sent to a special education center. As case worker "Special Ed" predicts, things do get worse before they get better. Joey's fear that "something [is] wrong inside me" escalates before his medications are readjusted and he is finally able to learn how to make "good decisions." Joey's good intentions, off-the-wall antics and their disastrous consequences will ring true to everyone who has had contact with a child suffering from a similar disorder. In addition to offering an accurate, compassionate and humorous appraisal of Joey's condition, Gantos (the Rotten Ralph series; 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. Joey's hard-won triumph will reassure children fighting his same battle and offer insight to their peers. But because the book is so realistic, reading it can be painful and requires patience, just like dealing with a child like Joey. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-You will groan and wince, but not want to stop listening to John Gantos' fast-paced narration of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (FS&G, 1998). Joey Pigza is wired, just like his father and his grandmother. When Joey was in kindergarten, his father left and his mother followed, leaving Joey to live with his abusive grandmother. His mother is back now, and he knows she loves him and wants him to be good. Joey explains in his own voice that his medication does not last through the day, and even though he tries to follow the rules, bad things happen, like swallowing his key, sharpening his finger in a pencil sharpener and running amuck during a class trip to an Amish farm. Gantos' lively and highly emotional voice brings the supporting characters to life by adequately distinguishing them from one another, as Joey describes all of the ups and down of his days at school. Joey is fortunate to have the support of many caring adults in the Lancaster County school system. They understand that he has Attention Deficit Disorder and lead Joey and his mother toward positive solutions to his problems. There is an author's epilogue in which he describes what events led him to write the book. Listeners will empathize with Joey and his trials and tribulations, while rejoicing at his wonderful zest for life.-Jo-Ann Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.