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I Am Not Joey Pigza (Joey Pigza #4)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  688 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
Joey's dad is back and he's handing out hundred dollar bills.
He's also changed his name from Carter Pigza to Charles Heinz.
Joey's mom thinks it's perfectly normal because she used to be Fran and now she's Maria.
Now Charles and Maria are calling Joey a new name, too.
And it turns out they were never divorced. They're even renewing their vows.
And the whole family is go
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Square Fish (first published July 24th 2007)
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Jul 29, 2007 Betsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good author has the ability to piss off their fans. Pissing off fans is a delicate art, though. On the one hand, if you can emotionally engage your readers to the point where they are so invested in your characters that they consider them to be real people then you know you're a pretty darn good writer. On the other hand, you always run the risk of losing those same fans if they feel you're being needlessly cruel to the fictional people they've grown to know and love. "I Am Not Joey Pigza" wal ...more
Dec 21, 2008 Ashley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Talk about disfunctional families. I got so angry reading this book! I wish I hadn't bothered with it. Joey's dad shows up again swearing he is a new man, and even after the outrageous fiasco of the last book, Joey's mom takes him back, and they just know that they will all live 'hapilly ever after' because Joey's dad won the lottery, and is now a whole new person. He even changes his name, and demands that they others do too. Joey's mom is all for it, but Joey really struggles with it. He ...more
Cara Stone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meh, I didn't care for this. Possibly it was because I didn't really have a context for it (it was my first, possibly last, Joey Pigza book). But, generally, I think I was just pretty disturbed by the overall storyline. Sure, maybe a kid would think it's funny or amusing but, as an adult, I thought this was a story about a sad, neglected (possibly abused?) kid with crazy parents who really should not have been parents. The whole concept can be summarized as follows:
-Joey is a happy kid
-Joey's a
Karin Mitchell
I love the other Joey Pigza books so was disappointed to read this one. It felt like the author just used his stock character to make a buck rather than write a new, well thought out, installment in the series. In the past I've never struggled with the suspension of disbelief in this series either but there were definite problems with that in this book. I especially had problems with the unresolved issues at the end of the book of Joey having not attended school the entire year and having been l ...more
Dec 17, 2008 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All of the Joey Pigza blew my hair back - I'm rating this one because it's the last one I read. Don't ever tell me that Joey isn't real because I'll be heartbroken.
Kaitlyn Craig
Feb 18, 2017 Kaitlyn Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book because of listening to the first book and then applying what I already know about Joey to this book. This book was suspenseful at times and really got me thinking about a few student I may have like Joey. Joey's life seemed to be under control towards the beginning, but then his dad came back into his life. Surprising most! The dad became a whole new person, changing his name and created a whole new outlook on life. Joey then gets bombarded with changing his name also ...more
Mar 04, 2017 Maggie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bet my students would really like this series, but it was kind of clunky and frenetic for me. I also hadn't read any of the previous books, which might have contributed to my lack of investment. I know that Joey is supposed to be a wired kid, so the mood might have been on purpose, but it didn't click for me. There were some very funny and sweet moments, though!
Matthew Martens
May 17, 2017 Matthew Martens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book.
Jul 08, 2010 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Do you think it is just too easy to be something you are not?" I asked, thinking of Dad.
"Easy in the beginning," she said. "But after a while even the made-up self starts to gather baggage, and before you know it you might just as well have stayed your old self."

I Am Not Joey Pigza, P. 215

Reading the Joey Pigza books can be hard. The writing is very distinctive and the stories deeply involving, and that's part why it can be hard to read them; because we can see the train wreck coming from
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for

In I AM NOT JOEY PIGZA, author Jack Gantos has reunited the family for more fantastic Pigza adventures.

In case you haven't met Joey and his family, they suffer from the affliction commonly known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). He suffers from it, his father has it, and his grandmother had it, too. The beginning of this new book shows Joey and his mother are adjusting to life after the death of Grandma Pigza. They are doing pr
Moussa Niang
Aug 19, 2012 Moussa Niang rated it it was amazing
1) I really enjoyed the book I am not Joey Pigza because I like how the author confuses the character Joey and making him think he is Freddy but writes that Joey is Joey. Then Joey gets confused and starts to disagree with himself. For example Joey at first is stubborn to accept the name Freddy and the next day he thinks he is Freddy and he starts to confuse himself in who he really is(p.22). Another example is when he is Freddy and his mom has a baby and the dad runs away because he doesn't hav ...more
Jul 20, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This is the day a gunman broke into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. I moved this book to the top of my TBR pile this morning to lift my spirits. It was a good choice. Joey's crazy life and very dysfunctional family spoke to the crazy day in many ways. We poor human beings do not know ourselves very well, and even when we try to reinvent ourselves, we run into the same problems because we are still the same people. Joey's life is a mess, not all of his own making, but a fairly big part of it ...more
Jul 29, 2015 Flor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids and special ed teachers
Shelves: kids-10
Hitting the Wall with Reality

Joey Pigza is a remarkable kid! So what if he has ADHD, he is a creative problem solver and gifted with a conscious. It is his sense of right and wrong that continually pull him back like a rubber band to doing the right thing. His off the wall antics from paintballs to cooking in a diner are hilarious! I was often laughing out loud. Although it was so much fun to read this book, it was a strong dose of reality because I taught many a Joey. I should have read this bo
Abigail Beckwith
Joey Pigza, ADHD and overall active kid, hails from a nontraditional family. His family goes into some serious dysfunction in this book, as his deadbeat dad returns and his Mom decides to forgive and forget and get remarried to deadbeat dad. To celebrate the fresh start, they give Joey a new name (which he does not appreciate).

The writing style is very descriptive and engaging. Joey is likable, and has great way of looking at the world. Very readable! He is clearly in a tough spot in this novel,
Oct 17, 2008 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joey’s good-for-nothing father shows up on his front doorstep, and says that he’s a new man, and even more surprising Joey’s mother welcomes him back. And they’re planning a “re-marriage.” Not only has dad quit drinking, he’s also won the lottery, and to signify his new life he’s changed his name from Carter Pigza to Charles Heinz. He thinks that Joey and his mom should change their names too. He’s bought an old dinner that he plans to paint black and yellow and open as the Beehive Dinner, maybe ...more
I sweart that everytime I read or listen to one of the Joey Pigza books, they get crazier and crazier, and this one is no exception! Despite this, I think this book might be my favorite in the series, as I think Joey grows up a lot in this book and discovers a lot about himself and his family that he never thought of before.

In this book, Joey is visited by his dad Carter who tried to kidnap him and his dogs in the last book. Carter swears he is a changed man after winning the lottery, not the b
Finally, when Joey thinks his world is under control, his wacky dad, Carter Pigza shows up and claims he's Charles Heinz. He remarries Joey's mom as Maria Heinz. After the wedding, he takes Joey and his mom to an unknown place somewhere in Pensilvania. They start a restaurant, and Joey almost enrolls into a new school as Freddy Heinz. But, his dad says why go to school when Joey can help out here and learn how to handle a restaurant. Then, Joey gets a little brother. But, where is his dad off to ...more
Melissa Dwyer
Aug 13, 2015 Melissa Dwyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally rated G+ by Annette Sirio
A great read for preteens. Joey, though conflicted and confused, behaves more like a rational adult than does his wacky father. Joey has a good center; he knows right from wrong, and even though he sometimes messes up, particularly if he hasn't taken his medication, his heart is in the right place. This story centers on Joey's struggles: to forgive his father for leaving him and his mother, and to adopt the new family identity, including a new name, concocted
This is a good book, but I didn't like it very much. I did not enjoy the writing syle, I didn't like the story, and I disliked most of the important characters, but in the end, I grew to love Joey Pigza, and I cared what happened to him. During the book he grew a lot, and I was proud of him.
Joey Pigza is in sixth grade, and he takes meds to help with whatever problem he has, probably ADHD, although the text never says. The narration style tries to reflect the inner workings of Joey Pigza's mind
ACS Librarian
On one level, Joey Pigza is hilarious. He takes a running leap into a box, to launch himself off the roof. He promotes the family diner by wearing a bee suit, running into the middle of the road, and screaming at passing cars as he swats at them with a sign that says 1CBEEHIVE DINER FAST FOO 1D. And he fires a paintball at his own butt, to better sympathize with his dog Pablita, after shooting her in the butt. On another level, 1CI whacked head first onto the cement cover of the cesspool 1D and ...more
Int'l librarian
Apr 22, 2010 Int'l librarian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On one level, Joey Pigza is hilarious. He takes a running leap into a box, to launch himself off the roof. He promotes the family diner by wearing a bee suit, running into the middle of the road, and screaming at passing cars as he swats at them with a sign that says “BEEHIVE DINER FAST FOO”. And he fires a paintball at his own butt, to better sympathize with his dog Pablita, after shooting her in the butt. On another level, “I whacked head first onto the cement cover of the cesspool” and “when ...more
Oct 13, 2007 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book is like watching a train wreck in slow motion - you know what's coming and that it isn't going to be pretty and that there is nothing you can do to stop it, but you keep watching anyway. The Pigza family is truly dysfunctional, but there is hope for Joey and this book continues that hope and his awareness that things may not be quite right in the Pigza (or Heinz)household. But more than once I just yelled "NO!!!" out loud. I know many people fantasize about characters in books ...more
Nanette Zorn
Nov 18, 2015 Nanette Zorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult-lit
Another installment in the much beloved (by me) Joey Pigza series. This tale follows the life of the newly reinvented Pigza a.k.a Heinz family after the father reunites with Joey's mom following a financial windfall. Joey, the main character that suffers from ADD and a less than stable family, is on a wild journey that brings him to forgiveness and confusion all over again. We listened to this as an audiobook read by the author. It had some truly unforgettable and poignant moments that led me to ...more
Joey's back in a fourth installment! He's still struggling with severe ADD, only this time it's made much, much worse by his father's return and a general upheaval of everything in Joey's life. His father comes back following a lottery win, and wants the whole family to leave their old lives behind--to the extent of renaming themselves, opening a diner, and winning a second lottery. Joey tries to keep it together, and he's really struggling--but it's really difficult when your parents are as f'e ...more
Linda Lipko
Normally a fan of this series, I found that I've grown tired of poor Joey who has ADD and tries to hold everything together while his parents are purely immature with no sense of direction for themselves or Joey. In this book, Joey's near do well father returns. Again, claiming he has changed and is a new man. In order to note these changes he decides that the family should have a new last name.

A baby is born and Joey seems to be the only one barely holding it together when to make things worse,
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
I have such mixed feelings about this one. The extremely funny parts are also extremely disturbing since I feel that Joey should not be the one punished for being the child of his parents. Fran as a character is flimsy and one-dimensional in this one. (And I don't know enough about plastic surgery but isn't it very soon for Carter to get in and out of the clinic in a day or two and take off the bandages just like that?) I know this is supposed to be somewhat ultra-realistic so it does not have t ...more
Oct 06, 2010 Jad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really interesting book that I enjoyed reading. It is a humor book that was actually hilarious and exciting, and interesting, and once you started there’s no way you’ll stop reading it until your extremely exhausted, or want to keep it for later. I enjoyed reading about the main character’s adventure, and what made me like this book is because Joey Pigza the main character is always up to no good, and is always ending up to be in an emergency room, or in his room grounded. The ending w ...more
Hayley Hancock
Not really a book I would read twice but it's a book children would probably enjoy and many children could relate to. This book is starts off when Joey’s deadbeat dad wins the lottery and shows up out of the blue to show his family the new man he’s become. He changes his name from Carter to Charles and starts telling Joey that he should become a new person too. He believes they should run a diner together and suddenly his parents who he thought were divorced decided to renew their vows. Basicall ...more
Tristan*theawesome cool
Imagine having a delinquint dad who leaves then comes back changing your life. I read the book I Am Not Joey Pigza by:Jack Gantos
In this book a boy named Joey is like a
chicken with its head cut off. He always acts before he thinks. The book is about his delinquent dad who left him and then went and changed his ways. One day he came back all changed he was now Charles Heinz and Joey was Freddy Heinz. Freddy tries to figure out why he is through many adventures. He also finds out about a new addit
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Jack Gantos is an American author of children's books renowned for his portrayal of fictional Joey Pigza, a boy with ADHD, and many other well known characters such as Rotten Ralph, Jack Henry, Jack Gantos (memoirs) and others. Gantos has won a number of awards, including the Newbery, the Newbery Honor, the Scott O'Dell Award, the Printz Honor, and the Sibert Honor from the American Library Associ ...more
More about Jack Gantos...

Other Books in the Series

Joey Pigza (5 books)
  • Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (Joey Pigza, #1)
  • Joey Pigza Loses Control (Joey Pigza, #2)
  • What Would Joey Do? (Joey Pigza, #3)
  • The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza (Joey Pigza, #5)

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“Granny was right,' I said. 'When you forgive someone it does make you stronger. It makes your heart bigger than your hate.” 6 likes
“They say love is blind, but for me it's the opposite. It makes me see the good in him, too, which is why I can never hate him.' --Mom (Fran)” 3 likes
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