Joey Pigza Loses Control.pdf
"Like its predecessor, this high-voltage, honest novel mixes humor, pain, fear and courage with deceptive ease. Struggling to please everyone even as he sees himself hurtling toward disaster, Joey emerges as a sympathetic hero, and his heart of gold never loses its shine."--Starred, Publishers Weekly
The loveable, disaster-prone hero of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key is back, this time in charge of his attention deficit disorder and ready to greet the world as a normal kid--with the help of his new and improved meds, of course. Now that Joey has a handle on his actions, he feels prepared to face the most mysterious member of his family--his estranged father, Carter Pigza. He convinces his skeptical mom to let him spend part of his summer vacation getting to know his dad again. The only problem is that Joey's dad is just as wired as Joey used to be: "I looked over at his mouth, which never seemed to close--not even the lips touched together--and it made me dizzy to listen to him." Carter believes that Joey can kick his ADD the way he himself kicked alcoholism--cold turkey. But when Carter flushes his meds, Joey has to decide if being friends with his dad is worth losing his hard-won self-control. "That old Joey was coming to get me and I couldn't do anything about it... I closed my eyes and told myself to sleep while I could."
Jack Gantos's second book about Joey Pigza is just as delightful and soulful as his first. Joey's attempts to keep the fragile peace in his life intact are touching, and his intense longing to just be normal will mirror the feelings of most preteens, whether they have ADD or not. Joey Pigza may sometimes lose control, but he never loses his heart. This is an exceptional sequel. (Ages 10 and older) --Jennifer Hubert
From Publishers Weekly
First introduced in Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, Gantos's hyperactive hero Joey Pigza has not lost any of his liveliness, but after undergoing therapy and a stint in special ed., he now can exercise a reasonable amount of self-controlDprovided he takes his meds. His mother has reluctantly agreed to let him spend the summer three hours from home with his father, an alcoholic who, so he claims, has taken steps to turn his life around. Readers will sight trouble ahead long before Joey's optimistic perception of his father grows blurry. Mr. Pigza is at least as "wired" as the old Joey, and when he resorts to his drinking habits and becomes belligerent, Joey (who still wants to win his father's favor) feels scared. Then Mr. Pigza, telling Joey his medicine patches are a "crutch" that Joey doesn't need, summarily flushes them down the toilet: "You are liberated... You are your own man, in control of your own life," he announces. Joey is torn between wanting to call his mom immediately and sticking with his father. "Even though I knew he was wrong," Joey says, "he was my dad, and I wanted him to be right." Like its predecessor, this high-voltage, honest novel mixes humor, pain, fear and courage with deceptive ease. Struggling to please everyone even as he sees himself hurtling toward disaster, Joey emerges as a sympathetic hero, and his heart of gold never loses its shine. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4-7. Joey's life has improved since Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (1998); patches containing his "good meds" control his hyperactivity, and though he would never be mistaken for a calm child (well illustrated by the incident when he accidentally pierces his dog's ear with a dart), he is usually able to stop and think before he gets into trouble. Joey isn't crazy about spending time with the father he has never met, but he hopes that his Dad "will love me." Carter Pigza is "wired" just like Joey, but the patch he wears is for nicotine, and he regularly peels it off to smoke. He likes to think deep thoughts while gazing at the Humpty Dumpty at the miniature golf course late at night, and he comes to the conclusion that both he and Joey need to do the manly thing and get rid of their patches. Joey remembers all too well how he felt before he got his medicine, but he tries hard to make his dad proud. In tremendously poignant scenes, he struggles valiantly to do what his mother has told him: think just one thought at a time. But as his medicine wears off, he gradually loses control. Gantos has given Joey a remarkably vivid personality, and, blending irrepressible humor with a powerful depiction of a child's longing for normalcy, he has written a dead-on portrayal of a young person assessing the often self-serving behavior of the adults who control his life. Few children these days don't know someone wrestling with ADHD; meeting up with Joey is a fine way to gain insight into the problems "hyper" children face. But the story is more than message. Ganto's skillful pacing, sly humor, and in-depth characterization make it a truly memorable read. Susan Dove Lempke
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8-At the end of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (Farrar, 1998), this endearing, but incredibly challenging kid was adjusting to his new medicine patches for his ADHD. Now he is flung from the frying pan into the fire when he visits his father and grandmother for the summer. Both adults suffer from hyperactivity, which is further aggravated by their distorted senses of reality; his grandmother's deteriorating health and his father's drinking provide a perfect recipe for disaster. Joey's dad is an initially appealing mixture of high spirits, unpredictability, and good times. He instructs the boy on the essence of life through his interpretations of the characters at Storybook Land and the strategies he applies as a Little League coach. When Carter realizes his son's potential as a pitcher, though, not even his sensible girlfriend can control him. Deciding that Joey should be self-reliant, he flushes the patches down the toilet and turns him loose in downtown Pittsburgh for a day. As his father's behavior slides, Joey finds himself in the driver's seat of the car, as well as of his self-determination. Readers will be drawn in immediately to the boy's gripping first-person narrative and be pulled pell-mell through episodes that are at once hilarious, harrowing, and ultimately heartening as Joey grows to understand himself and the people around him. The ride home isn't smooth, but it is hopeful and loving. Does this mean that he is on the way to a happy, "normal" life? As Joey himself would say, "Can I get back to you on that?"-Starr LaTronica, Four County Library System, Vestal, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Like its predecessor, this high-voltage, honest novel mixes humor, pain, fear and courage with deceptive ease. Struggling to please everyone even as he sees himself hurtling toward disaster, Joey emerges as a sympathetic hero, and his heart of gold never loses its shine."-Starred, Publishers Weekly
Joey finally feels a sense of self-control over his hyperactivity now that he receives daily medication patches. Visiting his divorced father for the summer seems like a good idea until his father, a mirror image of the pre-meds Joey, flushes all of the boy's patches down the toilet. The comic elements of this truly funny story only enhance the deeper fundamentals of Joey's discoveries about identity and familial love. A 2000 Parents' Choice® Gold Award.
Reviewed by Kemie Nix, Parents' Choice® 2000 -- From Parents' Choice®
Jack Gantos is the author of many books, including the Rotten Ralph picture books and several collections of stories for middle-graders featuring his alter ego, Jack Henry. He lives with his wife and daughter in Boston, Massachusetts.
Mom was disappearing down the road and Dad was shifting around in front of me with his arms and legs crossing back and forth like he was sharpening knives. He was wired. No doubt about it. When I looked in a mirror I could see it in my eyes, and now I could see it in his. Even with my medicine working real good, I felt nervous inside he was so jumpy. Now I knew what Mom meant when she said he was like me, only bigger. He was taller than me too. He had long arms and pointy elbows and a humming sound came out of his body as if he was run by an electric motor. I took a deep breath and even though my insides were churning I was determined to stand there and be as stiff as the rusted-up Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz.
"Well, Joey," Dad said with a grin rocking back and forth on his face like a canoe on high seas, "you can call me Carter." And he stuck out his hand to shake.
The sequel to Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist.
When Joey Pigza meets his dad for the first time in years, he meets a grown-up version of his old out-of-control self. Carter Pigza is as wired as Joey used to be -- before his stint in special ed, and before he got his new meds.
Joey's mom reluctantly agrees that he can stay with his dad for a summer visit, which sends Joey racing with sky-high hopes that he and Carter can finally get to know each other. But as the weeks whirl by, Carter has bigger plans in mind. He decides that just as he has pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, Joey can do the same and become as normal as any kid, without the help of a doctor's prescription. Carter believes Joey can do it and Joey wants to believe him more than anything in the world.
Here is the continuation of the acclaimed Joey Pigza story, affirming not only that Joey Pigza is a true original but that it runs in the family. "Joey Pigza Loses Control" is a 2000 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and a 2001 Newbery Honor Book.