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The Resource Joey Pigza swallowed the key, Jack Gantos

Joey Pigza swallowed the key, Jack Gantos

Label
Joey Pigza swallowed the key
Title
Joey Pigza swallowed the key
Statement of responsibility
Jack Gantos
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
From the Publisher: "They say I'm wired bad, or wired sad, but there's no doubt about it-I'm wired." Joey Pigza's got heart, he's got a mom who loves him, and he's got "dud meds," which is what he calls the Ritalin pills that are supposed to even out his wild mood swings. Sometimes Joey makes bad choices. He learns the hard way that he shouldn't stick his finger in the pencil sharpener, or swallow his house key, or run with scissors. Joey ends up bouncing around a lot-and eventually he bounces himself all the way downtown, into the district special-ed program, which could be the end of the line. As Joey knows, if he keeps making bad choices, he could just fall between the cracks for good. But he is determined not to let that happen. In this antic yet poignant new novel, Jack Gantos has perfect pitch in capturing the humor, the off-the-wall intensity, and the serious challenges that life presents to a kid dealing with hyperactivity and related disorders
Member of
Storyline
Tone
Character
Award
  • ALA Notable Children's Book, 1999
  • California Young Reader Medal, Middle School, 2002.
  • School Library Journal Best Books, 1998.
  • Virginia Readers' Choice Award for Middle School, 2001.
Review
  • Books for Youth, Middle Readers: Gr. 4-7. Joey Pigza, who lives with his hyperactive grandmother, understands that he's also "wired bad." Despite his best intentions, he can't concentrate and can't hold still. What's more, he can never resist an impulse: when his teacher assigns him to sharpening pencils to keep him from getting into mischief, he sharpens pencils, then chalk, then a Popsicle stick, and finally his own finger. He begins to settle down when his mother returns and gets him started on medication, but unfortunately, his morning pill wears off by noon every day. What makes this unusual is Gantos' sympathetic approach to all concerned. There are no bad guys among the adults, just well-meaning, occasionally exasperated grown-ups trying to help Joey get his behavior under control. Joey tells his own story, giving a vivid, keenly observed, detailed account of his actions and the reactions of others: "By lunchtime my meds had worn off again and I was spinning around in my chair like it was the Mad Hatter's Teacup ride at the church carnival." Gantos sometimes seems to be using Joey to inform readers, and occasionally makes Joey's comments seem too adult, but Joey is warm, lovable, and good-hearted, though maybe just a little too nice to be realistic. (He never even gets angry when he's deprived of the sugary treats he so craves.) Most teachers and students know at least one child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and this book will surely help them become more understanding, even as they enjoy Gantos' fresh writing style and tart sense of humor. ((Reviewed December 15, 1998)) -- Susan Dove Lempke
  • Gr 5-8-Joey Pigza suffers from severe attention deficit disorder and struggles to remain calm when his world chaotically slips through his fingertips. When his medicine wears off, he cannot concentrate or sit still and is constantly in trouble at school. After leaving him for several years in the care of his abusive grandmother, his mother returns to reclaim him and her parental responsibilities. But Joey remains a challenge: he continually disrupts his class, swallows his house key, and runs away during a field trip. Eventually, he injures a classmate and is sent to a special education center for six weeks; here his medication is regulated and he learns how to manage his behavior. Joey leaves the center feeling strong and in control and he triumphantly returns to his old school. Gantos creates a strong cast of multidimensional characters. Joey is inherently a good kid and just as his teachers want him to succeed, readers will empathize and feel his emotional and physical bruises. References to alcoholism and abuse add realism to the novel without impeding the flow of the plot. In his first-person narrative, Joey relates incidents that are heart wrenching and humorous. From the powerful opening lines and fast-moving plot to the thoughtful inner dialogue and satisfying conclusion, readers will cheer for Joey, and for the champion in each of us.-Shawn Brommer, Southern Tier Library System, Painted Post, NY
  • Authentic-sounding first-person narration by a hyperactive boy gives readers an inside view of attention-deficit disorders. Joey Pigza is a "wired-up mess," and he is struggling to get on the right track. But no matter how hard Joey tries to be good, he usually ends up in trouble, sometimes harming himself or others. After an accident in which the tip of a classmate's nose is sliced off, Joey is suspended from school and sent to a special education center. As case worker "Special Ed" predicts, things do get worse before they get better. Joey's fear that "something [is] wrong inside me" escalates before his medications are readjusted and he is finally able to learn how to make "good decisions." Joey's good intentions, off-the-wall antics and their disastrous consequences will ring true to everyone who has had contact with a child suffering from a similar disorder. In addition to offering an accurate, compassionate and humorous appraisal of Joey's condition, Gantos (the Rotten Ralph series; Desire Lines) humanely examines nature (both Joey's father and grandmother are as "wired up" as he) versus nurture (abandonment by Joey's parents, abuse by his grandmother, children's taunts) as factors in Joey's problems. Joey's hard-won triumph will reassure children fighting his same battle and offer insight to their peers. But because the book is so realistic, reading it can be painful and requires patience, just like dealing with a child like Joey. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
  • If Rotten Ralph were a boy instead of a cat, he might be Joey, the hyperactive hero of Gantos's new book, except that Joey is never bad on purpose. In the first-person narration, it quickly becomes clear that he can't help himself; he's so wound up that he not only practically bounces off walls, he literally swallows his house key (which he wears on a string around his neck and which he pulls back up, complete with souvenirs of the food he just ate). Gantos's straightforward view of what it's like to be Joey is so honest it hurts. Joey has been abandoned by his alcoholic father and, for a time, by his mother (who also drinks); his grandmother, just as hyperactive as he is, abuses Joey while he's in her care. One mishap after another leads Joey first from his regular classroom to special education classes and then to a special education school. With medication, counseling, and positive reinforcement, Joey calms down. Despite a lighthearted title and jacket painting, the story is simultaneously comic and horrific; Gantos takes readers right inside a human whirlwind where the ride is bumpy and often frightening, especially for Joey. But a river of compassion for the characters runs through the pages, not only for Joey but for his overextended mom and his usually patient, always worried (if only for their safety) teachers. Mature readers will find this harsh tale softened by unusual empathy and leavened by genuinely funny events. (Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 1998)
Awards note
National book award winner.
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
083025
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Gantos, Jack
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
Interest age level : 10 and up
LC call number
PZ7.G15334
LC item number
Jo 2000
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 5
  • 8
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Joey Pigza books
Series volume
0001
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Schools
  • Single-parent families
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Schools
  • Single-parent families
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
Joey Pigza swallowed the key, Jack Gantos
Instantiates
Publication
Note
  • Sequel: Joey Pigza loses control
  • Originally published in 1998 by Farrar Straus & Giroux -- verso page
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Off the wall -- Family tree -- Handful -- Go fish -- Make a wish -- Who? -- Gifted and talented -- Suspended -- Bad seed -- The crossing -- Shifting gears -- Pittsburgh -- Moon man -- The patch -- Picture me here
Dimensions
19 cm
Edition
1st Harper trophy ed.
Extent
153 pages
Isbn
9780374336646
Lccn
99024009
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)41231319
Label
Joey Pigza swallowed the key, Jack Gantos
Publication
Note
  • Sequel: Joey Pigza loses control
  • Originally published in 1998 by Farrar Straus & Giroux -- verso page
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Off the wall -- Family tree -- Handful -- Go fish -- Make a wish -- Who? -- Gifted and talented -- Suspended -- Bad seed -- The crossing -- Shifting gears -- Pittsburgh -- Moon man -- The patch -- Picture me here
Dimensions
19 cm
Edition
1st Harper trophy ed.
Extent
153 pages
Isbn
9780374336646
Lccn
99024009
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)41231319

Library Locations

    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797

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