Thursday, June 28, 2018

#tbt: Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos. 154 p. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. 0374336644. (Own)

#tbt features Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos. This is the first of five "Joey Pigza" books. It was published in 1998 and was a National Book Award Finalist that year. This is the first-person narration of Joey, who's up-front about himself. Consider this first line, "At school they say I'm wired bad, or wired mad, or wired sad, or wired glad, depending on my mood and what teacher has ended up with me. But there is no doubt about it, I'm wired." Joey is a good kid, with an unsettled home life and what he calls "dud meds." He wants to behave; but once those meds wear off after lunch, he's on a rollercoaster. So is the reader. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key is at turns hilarious and heartbreaking. Writing these words and remembering this character makes me want to reread the book! Perhaps I will, with my ears, later this summer. Jack Gantos narrates and his narrations are always a treat.

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