Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza

The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza
By Jack Gantos
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux
Published on 2 September 2014
Ages: 10-14
Series: Joey Pigza (

Goodreads description:
"The fifth and final book in the groundbreaking Joey Pigza series brings the beloved chronicle of this wired, wacky, and wonderful boy to a crescendo of chaos and craziness, as everything goes topsy-turvy for Joey just as he starts to get his feet on the ground. With his dad MIA in the wake of appearance-altering plastic surgery, Joey must give up school to look after his new baby brother and fill in for his mom, who hospitalizes herself to deal with a bad case of postpartum blues. As his challenges mount, Joey discovers a key that could unlock the secrets to his father’s whereabouts, a mystery that must be solved before Joey can even hope that his broken family might somehow come back together—if only it doesn’t pull him apart first."

The Scoop:
I've read one other Joey Pigza book and completely loved it! Joey is such a likable kid, but he does some really crazy things. He has ADHD and his mind is always working overtime, but in some very strange yet interesting directions. Joey Pigza books are quick, light-hearted and sometimes comical, but I'm so impressed that Gantos can cover some very serious issues like postpartum depression and ADHD in a way a child may understand. In "The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza" I loved the relationship Joey has with his ex-girlfriend Olivia who is blind and has been suspended from her boarding school. He tries to be politically correct and not offend her, but his words always seem to come out wrong. Who doesn't have THAT problem?! I loved the way Olivia explained the black box and her description of her world as a blind child. Joey wasn't afraid to ask the questions as we sometimes are out of fear of offending the person. I thought her answers were very interesting. In world where it's so difficult to get boys to read, I would definitely recommend this book to boys. I think that they could relate to Joey even if they don't share his issues. He's just a regular, normal boy.  He's not a jock. He's not popular. He's not a brainiac. He's just Joey and he's just trying to get by in his Pigza world.

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