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Joey Pigza Loses Control (Joey Pigza #2)

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  4,182 Ratings  ·  308 Reviews
The sequel to Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist.

When Joey Pigza meets his dad for the first time in years, he meets a grown-up version of his old out-of-control self. Carter Pigza is as wired as Joey used to be -- before his stint in special ed, and before he got his new meds.

Joey's mom reluctantly agrees that he can stay with his dad for a summe
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Square Fish (first published January 1st 2000)
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Linda Lipko
Feb 04, 2012 Linda Lipko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery-winner
This 2001 Newbery Honor book is well deserving of the award. It is yet another excellent example of the YA genre that resonates with all age groups.

Joey Pigza has ADHD. Well aware that he needs the medicinal patches to control his frenetic behavior, Joey has learned that without the patches, he is another person.

When Joey's mother reluctantly allows him to spend six weeks with his father, it is a test to see who is more out of control -- the son or the father.

Throwing away the patches, Joey's se
I am very conflicted about this book.

On the one hand, I loved Joey Pigza. He jumped off of the page as a fully-formed, odd ball kid who was awesome and complex, and I wanted to share him with people in my life.

I wanted to share his internal monologue about the challenges of dual identities - the "Mom" Joey and the "Dad" Joey, since they are not together and in fact barely civil, and both want different things from him - with a certain child of divorced parents in my life, who I thought would nee
I just love this book I think it is truly amazing. In the book a boy named Joey Pigza spends the summer with his dad, and during the summer many cray things happen. I just truly love this book. I love how the book has its twist and turns. In the end you just want to start over again.
Liam Franco
Oct 16, 2016 Liam Franco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have read Joey Pigza Swallows the Key, you will love the sequel, Joey Pigza Looses Control. In the book, the main character Joey wants to get to know his father and have a relationship with him. He decides to stay with his dad Carter and his grandma for the first time. Unfortunately, things do not go the way Joey expected. He finds out that his dad drinks and that his Grandma is a smoker. Joey then has to deal with his dad’s ignorance and irresponsibility. The parts of the book that show ...more
Jan 14, 2014 Miguel_ramirez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine your parents are divorced and you live with your mom , but your dad never came to visit you , one summer your dad calls and asks for you and asks you if you want to go with him.You say yes.Your finally there and the whole summer your trying to get him to tell you why he never came to visit you , and he never tells you why.How would you feel.The genre of this book is realistic fiction because Joey talks about stuff that actually happens in real life. My opinion is that the book is very go ...more
Oct 24, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 08, 2016 Brandon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever known what it is like to never know what your Dad looks like or their personality. Then all of a sudden go meet them. Well, that is what Joey Pigza’s life is like. In the sequel to Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, Joey Pigza Loses Control by Jack Gantos Joey goes to meet his father for the first time. I read this book because I saw it on the shelf and the cover photo made the book look interesting.
When they meet up Joey sees the grown up version of his old hyperactive self, the way
I find the Joey Pigza series to be difficult books to read. Joey is a likeable character but, what happens to him seems at times seems a bit too much to be real. The tone of the Joeys books is like Desperate Housewives just too far out to be real. The adults around Joey you also have to wonder about. Such as why his Mom would allow Joey to be under the care of his out of control father and his somewhat abusive grandmother. I do also wonder how the poor dog is going to survive.

I like Joey but, t
Joey Pigza is the story of a boy who has ADHD and needs to be on medication at all times or else he loses control. Joey's father would like him to come stay with him for the summer but his mother doesn't feel it's a good idea. Joey brings his little chihuahua along on the journey. He spends the summer trying to reconnect with his father, play baseball, and ditch the patch. Joey's father throws away all of his medication patches and tells him its all mind over matter. Eventually Joey loses it and ...more
Apr 27, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lis-565
This is realistic fiction alright. Joey Pigza is a very lovable protagonist who suffers from ADHD. He spends the summer with his estranged father who encourages him to quit taking his medication. In a less courageous book, this situation would be played only for laughs, but the book deals with the very serious (though, yes, often funny) consequences of this. I was shocked by the ending. It was very bittersweet. This book is clearly aimed at kids who are capable of handling an ending that doesn't ...more
Aug 21, 2010 Cherylann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I read this book because it's on the summer reading list for my 7th graders. To say there's a HUGE jump between our 7th grade list and our 8th grade list is an understatement. I found the book childish and juvenile for incoming 7th graders. I also found the characters rather flat, and the plot boring and predictable (seriously, it took 95 pages for the problem to become clear). This is not a book I would have picked up had it not been part of summer reading. I'm curious if any of my future stude ...more
Colby Sharp
2001 Newbery Honor

WOW-now I understand why people love Mr. Gantos. I'm not a fan of his book that won the Newbery, but this book was CRAZY AWESOME!
Mehdi Mohemmane
Mar 15, 2015 Mehdi Mohemmane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review 1

The first two chapters are good because it explains a little bit about the characters. First, the main character is Joey and his parents are divorced. Joey has his partner of life called Pablo. For example, whenever Joey does something bad, Pablo follows him and does it. They were all in their way to go to Joey's father and Joey is a crazy boy and he annoys his mom and makes her mad a lot. For all of these bad things his doctor gave him medications to calm him down because before the med
Oct 25, 2016 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This was a great read, and one that had me both laughing and feeling incredibly sorry for the main character. I'm not usually the biggest fan of realistic fiction, but this was a children's story that didn't shy away from serious issues or talk down to its audience, so I really appreciated its honesty.

According to descriptions of this series, Joey suffers from ADHD. The story never mentions this outright, but his condition is clear in the way he acts without his medicine. The whole time I was re
Alex Housman
Nov 17, 2016 Alex Housman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a clever book, I would suggest to fourth grade classes. Joey is a very funny young boy with a best friend and dog, Pablo, who does not have a relationship with his dad. All of this will change in this book! Joey is special, he has challenges with ADD and takes a medication as well as classes to help control it. Joey's dad, Carter, understands this very dilemma because he also is "wired." They share a fondness over baseball and begin to build a relationship until Joey's dad suggests that ...more
Aditi S.
Dec 01, 2016 Aditi S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book was truly a heartwarming story filled with suspense and emotion
Is ur mom and dad divorced? Joey Pigza's parents are and he never gets to see his dad until this summer. He is going to spend 6 months with him he is excited but nervous at the same time. The genre of this book is realistic fiction because what happened to Joey could happen to any child. This book was good because i can also relate to the story because my mom and dad are seperated and i only get to see my dad once in a while and i live with mmy mom.
The setting takes place in a big city. The Bo
Melissa Dwyer
Aug 13, 2015 Melissa Dwyer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Originally rated A by Amanda Bobick
The above review focuses on the negative situations that occur in the book. I will not deny that they exist, but I will add that the WAY these situations are portrayed is Negative. The author doesn't encourage the reader to do these things, rather the focus is on how uncomfortable, scared, angry and frustrated Joey feels. Through such passages as stated above, Joey's dad is gradually revealed to be the kind of adult a kid shouldn't live with alone grow up to be
Samuel L
Sep 28, 2016 Samuel L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book because I can really imagine how Joey feels, and I can see how hard it was for him to get teased by other kids because of his ADHD. I really recommend this book to anyone who is good at imagining or has been in his shoes.
Mar 24, 2009 Shel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gantos, J. (2000). Joey Pigza Loses Control. New York: HarperTrophy.


Joey’s back and he’s facing a new challenge: Meeting his father for the first time and visiting his difficult grandma, whose health is declining.

This book deals more deeply with issues only touched on the first book: The results of a lifetime of smoking, parental alcoholism, the need for ADHD medication, parental pressure, the desire for a united family, etc. Also, this book may appeal to sports fans, since Joey spends
Lisa the Librarian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 04, 2014 Ivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spoiler Alert

If you like weird,strange,funny books I think you might like it. The genre of this book is fiction. The main idea of this story is that joey is losing his mind because his parents are getting divorce and his dad won't stop drinking. And now he's trying his best to do whatever it takes for them to be a normal family again. Will he ever find a way.

In the book the setting takes place mostly at Joey's house and at the baseball field. The plot of this book is that Joey wanted his dad
Jessica Kohout
Jun 27, 2010 Jessica Kohout rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joey Pigza Loses Control is about a boy who spends the summer with his estranged father who has allegedly changed his irresponsible ways and wants to start his relationship with his son anew. Joey loves his father, but eventually learns that his father does not have all the right answers, can be irresponsible and selfish, and has not turned his life around.

The description of Joey’s thoughts and actions make his characterization convincing and relatable to the reader. Joey is a believable charact
Maggie Lyons
This intense and darkly humorous middle-grade novel, the sequel to Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, is a cautionary tale that could strike a chord with adult readers as well as middle-graders. Gantos’s portrayal of Joey’s irresponsible father should speak to any adult reader, and perhaps—and unfortunately—more than a few kids will also recognize him as an all-too-familiar figure in real life. Jack Gantos’s account of Joey’s struggle with ADHD is equally attention grabbing. His fluent and compelling ...more
Jennifer Heise
What an extraordinarily vivid picture of treatable ADHD, and how it feels to go from treating it to not treating it. Not having it myself, I can't tell if it's accurate, but I completely sympathize with Joey and anyone else who might share his experience of ADHD, having issues of my own. Joey's family is dysfunctional but not uncaring, despite the level of crazy (his mom driving with an expired license, his dad drinking despite his drinking problem, his grandmother turning off the oxygen for her ...more
Paola M
Sep 22, 2008 Paola M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who likes humorous books that teach you a message!
Recommended to Paola M by: Tim Henkels
I looked at the front cover, and knew right away that it was the perfect book for me to read.....
Life is just what it is, we can’t change it or give it away, we have to try new things, reach old dreams, and look forward to life, what i really enjoyed about joey, and got me impressed, was that he lost control but he never lost his heart! Joey in the real world, has to struggle against ADD (attention deficit disorder). Joey doesn’t understand, with his ADD problem, things are not ea
Irene McHugh
Apr 12, 2011 Irene McHugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Irene by: Peggy
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
I keep meaning to read more of the Joey Pigza books. If you know someone who is struggling with ADD or ADHD, then they make genuinely like this book. Joey is just getting his middle school life together and learning how to cope with his ADHD. Then he goes to visit his stellar dad and grandma for the summer. Dad, an alcoholic who swears he's on the wagon, disposes of Joey's medication. Joey doesn't want to see his dad as the screwed-up alcoholic that he really is. When Joey finally accepts that h ...more
Joey Pigza Loses Control / Jack Gantos. 1st paperback ed. New York, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (2000).
ISBN 0-374-39989-1
2nd book in the Joey Pigza series
Awards: Newbery Honor (2001)

I would recommend this book to boys in middle school. There are some heavy themes in the book: alcoholism, smoking, divorce, and children with ADHD. Joey doesn't mean to get into trouble so much, but he often finds himself in crazy situations, which readers will find funny. Many boys will be able to
Dec 05, 2012 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery, realistic, audio
I have not read the first book in the series, so I came at this book with no prior knowledge of Joey or his relationships with family members.

Looking at the book from a Newbery perspective (the book received an Honor), I can easily see that characterization was probably one of the number one attributes the committee was recognizing in giving the book an award. The main characters are all sharply and realistically drawn. Carter is trying to do what he thinks is right, he just is a failure. The g
Tracie D'angelo
Feb 03, 2016 Tracie D'angelo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joey's dad says he's cleaned up his act and wants a relationship with Joey. Now his mom is driving him up to spend six weeks to reconnect with his dad. At first things look promising. Carter, Joey's dad, says he's been doing some thinking and has decided to stop drinking and turn his life around. He found clarity in a children's fairytale amusement park. Grandma says he hasn't changed, but Joey is loving his like new dad and is introduced to baseball and finds out he has an amazing arm. All is m ...more
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Joey Pigza Loses Control - Kaplan Brook Report 1 1 Jan 26, 2014 06:57AM  
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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
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Other Books in the Series

Joey Pigza (5 books)
  • Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (Joey Pigza, #1)
  • What Would Joey Do? (Joey Pigza, #3)
  • I Am Not Joey Pigza (Joey Pigza, #4)
  • The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza (Joey Pigza, #5)

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