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Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key Paperback


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Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key + Joey Pigza Loses Control + I Am Not Joey Pigza (Joey Pigza Books)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 8
  • Lexile Measure: 970L (What's this?)
  • Series: Joey Pigza (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312623550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312623555
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (280 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Joey Pigza has problems. Big problems. He was emotionally abused by his grandmother. He has never met his dad. He can't get along in his elementary school classroom because of his mood swings and his "dud meds." We gradually see that Joey must have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), which is not being effectively controlled with his current medication. Joey's life is a terrifying roller-coaster ride, and Jack Gantos, author of the Rotten Ralph books, drags the reader along to see what life is like with ADD. The story is written from the boy's point of view in a sharp, worried style that veers out of control when Joey does. Joey's control of his own behavior slips away as we read, horrified to see this boy trying to get a grip on his life and failing. He disrupts the class field trip; he puts his finger in a pencil sharpener and injures himself; he swallows his house key. Then he runs through the classroom holding open sharp scissors. When he trips and falls, seriously injuring a classmate, he is transferred to a special-education program in another school. Here, thankfully, he encounters a caring teacher who recommends further medical evaluation, and Joey is eventually able to return to his former school. There is hope for Joey on the last page--he sits in the Big Quiet Chair to read. Gantos has achieved an unusual feat with this book. We want to turn away from Joey's shifting prison of emotions. But for those who stick with him, he shows us what his life is like. We walk a mile in his shoes, our feet hurting all the way. For young readers touched by ADD--and for their teachers and parents--Joey gives us the key to his world. (Ages 10 and older) --Marcie Bovetz --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In a starred review, PW called this National Book Award finalist "an accurate, compassionate and humorous appraisal of a boy with attention-deficit disorder." Ages 10-up. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book for children and adults alike.
jvrabq
We are writing a book review of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos and we thought the book was very humorous.
Chance Boudro
I expected this book to be used well in classrooms to help understand ADHD with all students.
Jay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Volkert Volkersz on April 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As an elementary school librarian, who was diagnosed as an adult with ADHD, and who lives in a household with other ADHD people, I highly recommend this book!
"Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key," is a fast-paced novel written at about the 5th grade level. Since we acquired two copies in our library about a month ago, it has been constantly checked out! I've had a student and his mom come into the library specifically to thank me for bringing this book to their attention and for discussing it with the his sixth grade class.
If you want to crawl into the mind and body of a youngster with attention problems, spend some time with "Joey Pigza." What this kid does with his body, I've done in my mind my entire life, and I'm thankful to a number of medical professionals for helping me discover that I really was "wired" differently. (The book that really got me to seek help was "Driven to Distraction," by Edward M. Hallowell, which I also highly recommend.)
The reviewer who attributes Joey's problems to his physical environment, overstates the situation. Yes, diet, chemicals and emotional problems can contribute to attention problems, but as a person who has eaten healthy foods for many years, and who has very few chemicals in the home, I can attest that ADD/ADHD people are usually born this way. I found relief through meds. Last year, I secretly took myself off the meds, and people around me noticed the difference within weeks. So, now I know it really does make a difference.
Some people are misdiagnosed or over-medicated, which is why it's important to see a doctor who knows this disorder inside and out, like Joey finally did at the end of the book. This book should be read by any students, teachers or parents who either have attention problems, or who know someone who does. It would make an excellent read-aloud and discussion starter in an upper elementary classroom.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
Joey Pigza is not your average kid. He is a very annoying kid because he always challenges his teacher, Mrs. Maxy by doing really bad things. He also comes up with some very weird theories about himself being like the Tasmanian Devil. Joey Pigza can't stand still. He can't pay attention, he can't follow the rules, and he can't help it- especially when his meds aren't working. Joey's had problems ever since he was born, problems just like his Dad and Grandpa have. And whether he's wreaking havoc on a class trip or swallowing his house key, Joey's problems are getting worse. In fact, his behavior is so bad his teachers are threatening to send him to the special-ed center downtown. To find out if they do or do not send him there, you have to read this fantastic book. Joey knows he's a really good kid but no matter how hard he tries to do the right thing something always seems to go wrong. Will he ever get anything right?
Nominations & Awards: Finalist, 1998 National Book Award for Children's Literature Notable Children's Books of 1999 (ALA) Notable 1999 Children's Trade Book in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kelly L. Ayers on June 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a new elementary teacher, I stumbled on this book because of its interesting title. I couldn't put it down because it drew me in instantly. I felt sorry for Joey, but I was amazed how different his experience appeared from his point of view than what I might see as a teacher. A must read for teachers, parents, and children!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a teacher and the mother of a son with ADHD I was immediately drawn to this book. Yes, there are difficult passages that make us want to look away from the character, but the character, like a real-life ADHD child cannot step away. My son is now 20 years old and had a horrible time making friends in school, for many of the same reasons as Joey. He attests to the authenticity of feelings and the impulsiveness of actions that send Joey "pinging off the walls of his life." (Geof's words, not mine) I highly recommend this book for anyone who has ever come in contact with an ADHD child and wants to understand a little more about the illness.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have never before such an honest and believeable description of a child with ADD. This book is almost painful to read, but I couldn't put it down, and I still think about it, months later. For anyone who knows somebody with ADD, this book opens up a whole new world of understanding. The best book, for children or adults, that I have read all year.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Bell on January 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
This story tells about the trials and tribulations of a boy named Joey Pigza from his perspective. Soon after starting the book one is aware that Joey suffers for ADHD (an extreme case). He also comes from a difficult family situation. Life is a series of ups and downs for Joey.
Although many of the situations that Joey finds himself in are humorous, one can't help but feel sadness and compassion for him. He tries so hard to fit in and follow the rules, but he always ends up getting into trouble. He tends to blame his "dud meds" when he loses control. After a series of incidents, including swallowing his house key and accidentally cutting the nose of a fellow classmate with scissors. Joey is transferred to a Special School. Fortunately, he meets a teacher who is able to help him. He is returned to his regular school and the book ends on a hopeful note that Joey will be ok.
As a former Special Ed. Teacher, I have met many Joeys in different forms. This book makes one more understanding of what a child with ADHD may be going through. It is both informative and thought provoking! Joey Pigza Swallows the Key and the one that follows, Joey Pigza Loses Control, have both won many honors and awards. I would highly recommended both books for children 10 and up!
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