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Joey Pigza Loses Control (Joey Pigza #2)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  3,690 ratings  ·  260 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Linda Lipko
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
Thomas Wiggs
In the book Joey Pigza losses control, he spends the beginning of his summer with his mom and the rest of his summer with his dad. Joey has to take meds to help calm him down because he has ADD and his medicine is in a patch on his arm. The medicine helps joey focus and start over in his life.
Once joey gets to his dads house he realizes his grumpy old grandma lives there with his dad. He also realizes that his dad is just a bigger version of himself, yet he doesn’t have to take the meds. And h
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
Can't remember the last time I laughed out loud whole reading a book silently to myself! Not just a chuckle, but I had to stop reading for a second. Having heard Jack Gantos speak before, I'm not surprised, cause he is hilarious. I am reading it with a specific group of boys on mind for a read-aloud, but I'm not totally sure how we'll get through it if I can't even read it without laughing out loud. And I'm nothing like Joey pigza! I would love to hear from any friends who have read his books to ...more
Kate Schwarz
I am a big fan of author Jack Gantos. I heard him speak a few years ago-he was very very funny and this humor translates well into the written word. This story is based on his own childhood, when he struggled with ADHD like many children do. It is laugh out loud funny, but also a little sad. The boy in the story is visiting his father, from whom he's estranged and is excited to finally see him. But the father does not live up to the expectations the boy has of him. While funny, the father is als ...more
Nanette Zorn
This sequel to Joey Pigza swallowed a key" was as stirring as its predecessor. Joey, who found some relief at the end of the first book, is off on a six-week summer adventure with dad and grandma. The only problem is that the dad is an undiagnosed, unmedicated adult ADHD sufferer who has all the right answers. Joey lends the same thoughtful insights into the loving and hopeful mind of a pre-teen child, leaving this sympathetic reader feeling a bit like his fictional mother. The grandma adds a bi ...more
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.
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!
Kenneth Winfield Emerton
I find it odd that with as many 'adult' books I read, the only ones I truly seem to connect with personally are children's literature. I felt like I was reading a mini autobiography of myself while reading this. I first read it when I was a kid myself and had picked up a copy for my young brother to read. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to re-read it for myself. It's extremely enjoyable and fast paced. I definitely recommend it for anyone, young or old, especially if you grew up wit ...more
Ina Silverness
Joey Pigza Loses Control is about a boy named Joey who goes to live with his father. He refers to himself as being "wired" and finds out that his father is "wired" too. He plays baseball and is a great pitcher, until something goes terribly wrong...

Joey Pigza Loses Control is a great chapter book to use with students. It has so many possibilities for classroom activities. Students could pretend they were Joey and write a postcard home, readers theatre, create baseball cards with Joey's statistic
I had the same reaction to this book that I had to the first one--it was funny, but at the same time, it was too horrifying to laugh. It made me laugh, it made me cry (seriously, when his dad flushes his meds, I bawled like a baby). Joey wants so much to be a normal kid, to be good, to please everyone, that it just broke my heart. Especially since his dad is a total spaz and a horrible father. I kept rooting for Joey to call his mom, but at the same time, I understood how a kid would want to kno ...more
A smartly-written and hilarious portrait of a boy coping with his ADHD during a summer vacation spent with his mentality unstable father. The humor in this potentially tragic story is marvelous. My experience as an elementary librarian has been that young readers tend to have very polarized reactions to this novel. Some really tap into the playful banter of the writing, while others are horrified by the level of irresponsibility exhibited by the parents. JPLC certainly doesn't shy away from pare ...more
2001 Newbery Honor Book

This is actually a pretty gritty book. It has moments of humor but it is kind of sad to watch Joey lose control. His father also drinks beer a lot through the book, despite the fact that he's supposedly "dry."

Joey's mom drives him to meet his father, Carter, who has supposedly cleaned up his life, got a job, and quit smoking and drinking. Carter immediately takes Joey to Storybook Land, a place that he claims inspired him to get clean. At first, things seem to be great and
Joey now has a dog and they both go to stay for the summer with his father who is a recovering alcoholic and his grandmother, the one his mother took him back from in the first book. He starts pitching on the team his father has to coach (for community service) and deals with his father taking away his mediation.
I liked that this was the view point and experiences of the kid. It's one thing to read about a child with this behavior and another to live with it either as other (parent/teacher/etc.)
Mehdi Mohemmane
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
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
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
Dan Fleming
I thought this book was fantastic! It made me laugh out loud but it also made me feel sad because it reminded me of how hard it is for some kids to deal with their family situations. Jack Gantos did such a great job of letting the reader know what it is like to have ADHD. You actually get into the head of Joey and how he thinks with ADHD.This book is about a young boy named Joey who had ADHD. Joey just meets his dad for the first time in years. Joey thinks that Carter is like a grow-up version o ...more
Ann Carpenter
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
Paola M
Oct 29, 2008 Paola M rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Jessica Kohout
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
Lisa the Librarian
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Patience Thomas
I had read another of Jack Gantos'books, Dead End in Norvelt, which I enjoyed very much but this book I found very disturbing. It may have been the plot in which Gantos described a dysfunctional family system extremely vividly. It is a story about a boy from a split family. He has an mental and emotional disorder ( hyperactivity ) for which he is medicated with a patch. His Mom, with whom he lives, is very nurturing. Out of curiousity, Joey decides that he'd like to go visit his Dad for the summ ...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)
Dead End in Norvelt Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (Joey Pigza, #1) Hole in My Life From Norvelt to Nowhere What Would Joey Do? (Joey Pigza, #3)

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