Joey Pigza, Book 4: I Am Not Joey Pigza

Joey Pigza, Book 4:  I Am Not Joey Pigza

In this final book in the series, Joey’s dad returns. But this time he has completely reinvented himself. Gone is “Carter Pigza,” and in his place is “Charles Heinz.”Thanks to a lucky bout with the lottery, Charles is now wealthy and wants to share it with his family.

He is even courting Joey’s mother, who is all too ready to leave everything behind and start a new life with her “new” man. At his urging, she has even changed her name and is strongly encouraging Joey to follow suit. They move out to a rural area where Charles has purchased a rundown diner. He hopes the family will turn it into a moneymaking business that will simply be the “bee’s knees.”

But this new life isn’t everything its cracked up to be.

Once again Joey, or “Freddy” as his parents insist on calling him, is pulled out of school. He has given up everything he has ever known and he is not sure it was worth it. Can he truly forgive his father for everything that he has or has not done? That doesn’t seem like something the old Joey could do, but maybe Freddy can.

New life. “New” family. New name. New sibling? Joey, um, Freddy’s world may be changing in more ways than he could imagine! Yet all of these changes hinges on his father. Has Carter Pigza truly changed for good or will he go back to his old ways once the money runs out? This last book in the series has Joey really looking at what makes him unique and forces him to ask himself if he likes the person he is.

Once again, Joey’s happy voice and optimistic take on life is highlighted as his family takes another dysfunctional turn. With laughs, drama and even a paintball scene, I Am Not Joey Pigza is an enjoyable read. 224 pages

978-1250061669 Ages 9-13

Recommended by Jamequa Summerall, Librarian, Maryland USA

************* Just when Joey Pigza's wired world finally seems to be under control, his good-for-nothing dad pops back into his life. This time, though, Carter Pigza is a new man – literally. After a lucky lotto win, Carter Pigza has a crazy new outlook on life, and he's even changed his name to Charles Heinz. He thinks Joey and his mom should become new people, too. Soon Joey finds himself bombarded with changes: a new name, a new home, and a new family business – running the beat-up Beehive Diner. He knows he should forgive his dad as his mom wants him to, and get with the new family program. But in I Am Not Joey Pigza, Joey is afraid that in changing names and going with the flow he will lose sight of who he really is.

In Jack Gantos' rocket-paced new chapter in Joey Pigza's life, a favorite hero discovers what identity and forgiveness really mean, and how to cook a delicious turkey burger. This title has Common Core connections.--from the publisher

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