Joey Pigza is back. He is spending six weeks with the father who abandoned him as an infant. Against his mother’s better judgment, she leaves Joey with his father so he can decide for himself if this is someone he wants in his life. His grandmother always said Joey was tightly wound, just like her and just like his father. Joey discovers this is true. From the first moment he meets his father, he recognizes the same tightly wound hyperactivity that he so recently learned to manage.
Joey has learned how to manage his ADHD and he hopes he can help his father. But Carter Pigza has his own ideas on life and parenting. He claims he has changed his life, however he is still secretly drinking. He is coaching a little league team. Unfortunately his temper constantly gets the best of him and his verbal abuse of the players is legendary. Yet, Joey is determined to get to know his father. He joins his little league team and discovers he's a great pitcher. Because of him, the team may actually have a shot at the championship. But as great as Joey hopes everything will be, he is still surrounded by people who do not always make the best decisions. When his father decides Joey can handle his ADHD without intervention and tosses his medicated patches down the toilet, Joey fears it's only a matter of time before he loses control and the old him returns. Despite hints of physical abuse and alcoholism, Joey's optimism and faith in others make this a quick, enjoyable read that, along with the other books in the series, will start conversations between parents and their children.
208 pages 978-1250061676 Ages 9-13
Keywords: ADHD, father/son, summer, Newbery Honor, differently wired, understanding others, diversity, diverse books, parenting, 9 year old, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old, reluctant reader, part of a series
Recommended by Jamequa Summerall, Librarian Maryland, USA
*********** 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 Jack Gantos' acclaimed Joey Pigza story, affirming not only that Joey Pigza is a true original but that it runs in the family. This title has Common Core connections.
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.