Sherri's Reviews > Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
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Nov 19, 2011

really liked it
Read from November 19 to 25, 2011

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Rating: **** Every teacher, parent, and child dealing with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder should read this book. Joey has ADHD, and this story is told from his perspective. Joey is the first to admit that he is “wired” just like his dad and grandma. This is both a compassionate and humorous story about an increasing issue in today’s society.

Summary: Joey has trouble paying attention and sitting still. When his medication wears off, Joey cannot control his impulses. These impulses lead him into trouble, both at home and at school. Things at school have gotten so bad, Joey is sent to a special-education center.

Main Characters:
Joey Pigza – Joey is a good kid, but no matter how hard he tries to do the right thing, something always seems to go wrong. His father and mother abandoned him when he was little, and he lives with an abusive grandmother until his mother finally returns. He is on medication for his ADHD, but it doesn’t work all the time.
Mrs. Pigza – Joey’s mom loves her son very much, but she doesn’t always know how to care for him. She left him in the care of an abusive grandmother, and when she returns several years later, Joey is out of control. She works at a beauty salon to support herself and Joey. She also drinks and calls it her medicine.

Key Issues: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, single-parent family, education, substance abuse, child abuse

Other Interesting Information: Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key is the first in a series of books featuring Joey Pigza. This book was a National Book Award finalist. The author, Jack Gantos, has written books for people all ages, but he is best known for his young adult novels.
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