Erin's Reviews > What Would Joey Do?

What Would Joey Do? by Jack Gantos
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Jan 08, 11

bookshelves: realistic-fiction, classroom-library, middle-grade
Read from December 10 to 12, 2010

This book made me laugh out loud and made me cry! The main character, Joey, is struggling with crazy situations at home, at school, and in his social life...all of which are not what you would consider "normal." Joey lives with his mother and grandmother, but his father keeps riding by on his motorcycle to harass them, his grandmother is sick enough that she doesn't really move from the couch in their living room, and he is homeschooled by the mother of a blind girl who lives down the street. His classmate is sick of being babied by her mother, and is is trying anything and everything she can to be poorly behaved so that her parents send her away to a school for the blind. Living (with ADHD) in the midst of all this mayhem, Joey is trying to help solve everyone's problems but his own. As he learns from his grandmother, though, sometimes you need to think of yourself first, and then help others along the way.

Written in the first person, Gantos has done a fabulous job of creating an authentic voice for Joey Pigza. He is just confused enough that he seems real, but at the same time is just good-hearted enough that you really love him as a character and want him to succeed. I would recommend this book for anyone who loves children's/young adult literature, and I think that male students in grades 4-6 would especially connect with Joey's character.
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