Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (Unabridged Audio Book)

Artist Group: 
Read by Jack Gantos
Publisher: 
Listening Library
Publisher Catalog Number: 
YA 120
Length in minutes: 
180

Format:

ISBN: 
0807281719
Large image: 
ASIN: 
0807281719
List Price: 
18.00
Rating: 
5
Publication Date: 
1999
Series: 
Joey Pigza

Categories:

Short Review: 
Joey Pigza is “wired,” and he just can’t help the things he does – like disrupting class, putting his finger in the pencil sharpener, and accidentally cutting off the end of a classmate’s nose. Harrowing and howlingly funny, the author reads Joey’s self-narrated story with a kinetic energy that hints at what it’s like living with ADHD.
Long Review: 

Joey Pigza is “wired” and he just can’t help the things he does – like disrupting class, putting his finger in the pencil sharpener, swallowing his house key, spraining his ankle trying a hare-brained stunt on a class field trip – and the event that lands him temporarily in a special ed school – accidentally cutting off the end of a classmate’s nose. Joey is a kid you can’t help but love and feel sorry for at the same time. He’s good hearted – he never means to hurt himself or anyone else – things just sort of happen. Joey has what appears to be a serious case of ADHD. His meds help some, but they don’t always work, and they don’t seem to last long. Except for his grandmother (who at one point tries to give him a time-out inside the refrigerator), all of the adults in the story – his mother, his teachers, the principal, the school nurse – are all portrayed sympathetically – it’s clear they’re really trying to be patient with and help Joey. And finally, with a new doctor and some new meds, it looks like Joey is going to have a real second chance. Matching the pace of Joey’s whirlwind thoughts and actions, Gantos energetic reading deftly captures the kinetic swing of Joey’s ups and downs (mostly ups!) Harrowing, howlingly funny, and ultimately hopeful, Gantos reads the story in Joey’s voice, taking the listener inside Joey’s head – revealing the chaos of thought and emotion, as well as the goodness that reside there. And if you’re wondering how and where Gantos got the idea to write this book, he talks about his inspiration for Joey Pigza at the end of the recording.

Reviewer: 
Lauren Mayer