Synopses & Reviews
Sequel to Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor Book
Are they flirting or fighting? This is Joey Pigza's question when the fireworks suddenly start to explode between his long-separated mom and dad, whom he's never really had a chance to see together. The more out of control his parents get, the less in control Joey feels and the more he wants to help make things better. But Joey's ailing tell-it-like-it-is grandmother wants her grandson to see it like it is with his unpredictable parents. Knowing that she is fading fast, she needs Joey to hurry up and show that he can break the Pigza family mold by making a friend in the outside world. The only potential candidate, however, is Olivia Lapp -- Joey's blind homeschooling partner, who brags that she is "blind as a brat" and acts meaner to Joey the more desperate he gets for her friendship -- even if Joey senses there's more to her than meets the eye.
In this dazzling episode, Jack Gantos's acclaimed hyperactive hero discovers that settling down isn't good for anything if he can't find a way to stop the people he cares about from winding him up all over again. What Would Joey Do? is a 2003 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
"Readers will cheer for Joey, and for the champion in each of us." (Starred, School Library Journal)
"Stepping into Joey Pigza's skin isn't easy . . . But it's worth the discomforting fit." (Deirdre Donahue, USA Today)
What theyre saying about Joey:
"Joey . . . is an impossible, contradictory, glorious creation." —Liz Rosenberg, The Boston Sunday Globe
* "Joey isnt leading the easiest of lives, but hes a tough and triumphant kid with an absorbing story." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"In Joey Pigza, Mr. Gantos has meticulously crafted the voice of a troubled kid with a solid center of goodness. Joey tells his own story, and it reads like a ride in a car without brakes." —Sue Corbett, Knight Ridder News Service
* "Joey emerges as a sympathetic hero, and his heart of gold never loses its shine." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Readers will cheer for Joey, and for the champion in each of us." —School Library Journal, starred review
"Stepping into Joey Pigzas skin isnt easy . . . But its worth the discomforting fit." —Deirdre Donahue, USA Today
“Readers who dont know Joey will have no trouble jumping right in with this book, and those who have met him in the previous books will enjoy the way ‘Mr. Helpful tries to set things right in a chaotic and uniquely amusing world.”—School Library Journal
“[Gantos] resolves his honest, affecting trilogy by giving his protagonist the heart to continue loving people despite their sometimes terrible flaws and the perseverance to keep aiming in the right direction—no matter what the grown-ups say. No need to read the prequels to enjoy this one.”—Booklist, Starred Review “Hard to believe that Joey is the almost-normal one in this third and last installment in the chronicles of Joey Pigza . . . Its not just a funny story with nutty parents out of control, its a poignant story of family, loss, lessons learned, and one boys learning to make his way in the world with confidence and good cheer. This work easily stands by itself, but readers new to Joey Pigza will rush out to get the others, too. A must read.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
In this dazzling conclusion to the Joey Pigza trilogy, Gantos's acclaimed hyperactive hero discovers that settling down isn't good for anything if he can't find a way to stop the people he cares about from winding him up all over again.
"Hard to believe that Joey is the almost-normal one in this third and last installment in the chronicles of Joey Pigza . . . It's not just a funny story with nutty parents out of control, it's a poignant story of family, loss, lessons learned, and one boy's learning to make his way in the world with confidence and good cheer. This work easily stands by itself, but readers new to Joey Pigza will rush out to get the others, too. A must read." - Starred, Kirkus Reviews
Joeys trying to make friends—with the meanest girl he knows.
Joeys dad keeps circling their house on his motorcycle.
Joeys mom chases him with a broom, when shes not with her new boyfriend.
Joeys grandmother says shell haunt Joey when she dies if he doesnt find a friend.
How did Joey end up being the normal one in his family?
Clearly its up to him to keep his mom and dad from killing each other.
But finding a friend? Hes in homeschool with only one other kid.
The meanest girl hes ever met.
Still, the Pigza family may be crazy, but they never back down from a challenge.
About the Author
Jack Gantos has written books for people of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert Honors, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book, and Dead End in Norvelt, winner of the Newbery Medal and the Scott ODell Award for Historical Fiction.
Jack was raised in Norvelt, Pennsylvania, and when he was seven, his family moved to Barbados. He attended British schools, where there was much emphasis on reading and writing, and teachers made learning a lot of fun. When the family moved to south Florida, he found his new classmates uninterested in their studies, and his teachers spent most of their time disciplining students. Jack retreated to an abandoned bookmobile (three flat tires and empty of books) parked out behind the sandy ball field, and read for most of the day. The seeds for Jacks writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sisters diary and decided he could write better than she could. He begged his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school, mostly from standing outside the teachers lounge and listening to their lunchtime conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories.
While in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture books. After a series of well-deserved rejections, they published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. It was a success and the beginning of Jacks career as a professional writer. Jack continued to write childrens books and began to teach courses in childrens book writing and childrens literature. He developed the masters degree program in childrens book writing at Emerson College and the Vermont College M.F.A. program for childrens book writers. He now devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking. He lives with his family in Boston, Massachusetts.