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Jo Joe Hardcover – May 6, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Pixel Hall Press (May 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098838714X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988387140
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,652,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Whether she is writing books or taking photographs, Sally Wiener Grotta is the consummate storyteller. Her words and pictures reflect her deep humanism and appreciation for the poignancy of life. As an award-winning journalist, she has authored many hundreds of articles, columns and reviews for scores of glossy magazines, newspapers and online publications. She has also co-authored numerous non-fiction books with her husband, Daniel Grotta. Her novel "Jo Joe" was published by Pixel Hall Press in spring 2013; her next novel (which will be published in 2014) will be "The Winter Boy."

Sally welcomes invitations to participate in discussions with book clubs (occasionally in person, more often via Skype, Google Hangout or phone), and to do occasional readings. Connect with Sally on Facebook, Twitter (@SallyWGrotta), LinkedIn, or Google+. She blogs at www.grotta.net/blog.htm.

Sally is also the creator of the award-winning American Hands narrative portrait project (www.AmHands.com).

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dottie on April 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books that will stay with me for a long time. Ms. Grotta is a compelling writer whose style and descriptions are so phenomenal I could SEE the woods, sculptures, farmhouse, buildings, photographs, and pottery, SMELL the trees, woods, foods and perfumes and FEEL the raw emotions, love, hate, prejudice, shock and fear and the resolution of the hurt.

The book takes place over about eight days however, tells the story of a lifetime. Ms. Grotta is truly a remarkable story teller and writer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Neely on May 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful novel reads like a memoir, and I was sure it was true during most of the tale. It is set in the Pocono Mountains in the small village of Black Bear, where prejudice abounds, as it does in most places, large or small. Judith, nicknamed Jo by her childhood protector and boyfriend Joe, is an 8 year old Jewish girl of mixed race, dark skin, who must move from Paris, France, to live with her grandparents in Black Bear, where she is a one-of-a-kind oddity. She suffers many cruelties of prejudice, bullying, deriding, and abuse, but her grandmother and Joe champion her protection, and Joe who is a large, blonde football player, defends her gallantly and falls in love with her. But she is the victim of a crime in her senior year, Joe is injured, and both lives fall apart with Judith leaving BlackBear for 17 years, returning only for the funeral of her beloved grandmother. The cruel truths she learns when she returns are painful but open her life to new opportunities as a whole person. The book is terrific, a page turner till the end and very well written with fascination characters and exploration of universal psychological traumas. I highly recommend this book
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. E. Ryan on April 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Jo-Joe is an engaging story of a woman facing her past, her fears, and herself. I found the book to be both simple and complex, filled with twists and turns. It is a heartfelt work which brought me to tears on more than one occasion. I believe many women will relate to this read in one way or another as it touches upon issues that are poignant in today's society. A page turner for sure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BaumanBookReviews on May 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Judith got out of Black Bear a long time ago, promising herself she would never return. But, when she receives an anonymous phone call telling her that her grandmother needs help, it seems that a return to Black Bear is on the horizon.

Judith was doing work in Africa when she received the call, so by the time she received the message, her grandmother had already passed away.
Being the last surviving member of her family, she is forced to return to Black Bear and face the place that didn’t accept her as a child, and face the boy who broke her heart.

Judith was the only black girl in Black Bear where she grew up. She was also the only Jewish girl. Being a minority in a predominately white town caused a lot of problems for her in her childhood. There were racial slurs thrown her way, and she was abused by other school kids.
This was when Joe came into the picture. He became her protector. He warned the other kids to not hurt or touch her, or there would be hell to pay. He was one of the strongest kids at school, Judith felt safe when he was around.
They started spending most of their time together. He came home with her every day after school and spent more time there than he did at his own place. They became really close and came up with a secret name for themselves – Jo Joe. Jo being Judith’s initials. Joe liked that it was similar to his own name.

When Judith arrives back in Black Bear, she encounters Joe right away, which sort of sets the tone for her visit. She runs into a lot of people from her past. Some of them provide a friendly face, while others draw up bad memories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I was given “Jo Joe” from Pixel Hall Press for the purpose of participating in a book tour for this book. Excited, a little nervous and just curious about participating in my first book tour hosted by www.booksnifferreviewtours, I was more than happy to agree to the book.

*****

Author, Mrs. Sally Wiener Grotta, pens a fictional novel to resemble the memoirs of Judith Ormand. The story takes place in the small village of Black Bear, Pennsylvania. Judith if returning back to Black Bear after a seventeen year absence after her beloved grandmother passes away. Taken by surprise that her grandmother has passed, Judith knows that her return to Black Bear will bring back suppressed memories, deep-rooted emotions of herself as well as others and confrontations on a past that she has run away from.

Pulling into Dutch’s service station, an “enormous man, with his unkempt, thinning, dark blonde hair and that beer belly protruding over his low jeans” starts what becomes the avalanche of emotions for Judith. Joe Anderson is the new owner of Dutch’s. Shocked that the man who once was her best friend, the epitome of good looks and her crush; has just let himself go.

After arriving at the farm of her grandparents, Judith realizes that since she was last there seventeen years ago, not much has changed. The mezuzah is still on the door where grandpa placed it. Every bit of furniture is where it’s always been. The only thing different is that the sounds of her past are missing. It’s the quiet that sparks the flashback of memories that overwhelm Judith from the moment she walks through the door.

Setting herself on a strict one week deadline to get everything handled with the will, Judith walks in with a set mind of selling off everything.
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