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Joey Pigza Loses Control by Jack Gantos
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Joey Pigza Loses Control (2000)

by Jack Gantos

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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Joey goes to stay with his estranged dad for the summer, hoping to form a relationship with him, but his mother's warnings about how wired and weird his dad can be may prove too true, and Joey is also still learning a new balance of meds to help with his own excess of wired energy.

This is a Newbery Honor Book and has one other acclaims, but I can't seem to figure out how to appreciate Gantos' stories. I've tried other of his books, and for some reason he's just not my cuppa. I'm happy that others appreciate his work, though. ( )
  electrascaife | Jun 27, 2018 |
A really cute story. Joey Pigza really wants his six-week visit with his dad to count, to show him he's not as wired as he used to be, to show his dad how much he loves him. But Carter Pigza's not an easy guy to love. He's eager to make it up to Joey for past wrongs and to show him how to be a winner, to take control of his life. With his coaching, Joey's even learned how to pitch a baseball, and he's good at it. The trouble is, Joey's dad thinks taking control means giving up the things that "keep Joey safe. And if he wants to please his dad, he's going to have to play by his rules, even when the rules don't make sense. ( )
  LynneQuan | Jan 30, 2018 |
Joey Pigza's family are all people with problems who don't have it all together. He has to come to terms with his Dad and Grandma being selfish, greedy and sometimes abusive. Most kids have to realize at some point that their parents aren't always right or good, and decide how they're going to deal with the realization. Joey is saddened by his Grandma's declining health and wants her to be happy, even though she seems to have little empathy for him and plays some pretty mean tricks on him. He also wants to connect with his Dad and be a good son, even as we see that his Dad is reckless, irresponsible and self-absorbed. Despite the dysfunction of Joey Pigza's family, Gantos creates a some terrific humor. The book opens with Pigza's broke and stressed mom telling him that they must drive carefully, because "My license is slightly expired and I don't have insurance, so just bear with me." I'm sure plenty of kids can relate to having parents who are at the end of their rope and barely holding it all together.

I enjoy Gantos' descriptive language and humor. He describes someone's smile as looking like a "cracked bar of soap in a gas station bathroom;" his grandma reaching out her hand for money "like a music-box monkey;" she also "ripped a pack (of cigarettes) open like they were the only medicine in the world to save her from a rattlesnake bite." ( )
  motorbuffalo | Mar 4, 2017 |
This book is about a boy names Joey Pigza who suffers from ADHD. The story begins with his mother taking him to spend a summer with his father whom he has not seen for a long time before due to his alcoholism. He spends the summer by joining his dads baseball team and catching up on old times. His father still suffers from adhd and addiction and tries to be a good mentor to Joey by making him feel like he can control his life without his medications. After his medicine gets flushed down the toilet the ends of summer for Joey is spent trying to keep control but it ends up turning into a disaster.
  laurenmaune | Oct 5, 2015 |
“Joey Pigza Loses Control” by Jack Gantos does a wonderful job educating the reader about what life with ADD/ADHD is like. Joey Pigza, the main character, is visiting his father, Carter, for the first time in years. Carter decides that Joey should learn to function like other kids without the help of a doctor’s prescription. Gantos is able to maintain an insider’s point of view throughout the entire text in order to authentically portray what life is like with this disability. My only critique of this book is that Joey is portrayed more as stereotype than as an individual. However, I would still recommend this book to elementary school teachers to educate their students about ADD/ADHD. ( )
  swarnk1 | Sep 14, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064410226, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:37 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Joey, who is still taking medication to keep him from getting too wired, goes to spend the summer with the hard-drinking father he has never known and tries to help the baseball team he coaches win the championship.

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