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Authentic-sounding first-person narration by a hyperactive boy gives readers an inside view of attention-deficit disorders. Joey Pigza is a "wired-up mess," and he is struggling to get on the right track. But no matter how hard Joey tries to be good, he usually ends up in trouble, sometimes harming himself or others. After an accident in which the tip of a classmate's nose is sliced off, Joey is suspended from school and sent to a special education centre. As case worker "Special Ed" predicts, things do get worse before they get better. Joey's fear that "something [is] wrong inside me" escalates before his medications are readjusted and he is finally able to learn how to make "good decisions." Joey's good intentions, off-the-wall antics and their disastrous consequences will ring true to everyone who has had contact with a child suffering from a similar disorder. In addition to offering an accurate, compassionate and humorous appraisal of Joey's condition, Gantos (the Rotten Ralph series; Desire Lines) humanely examines nature (both Joey's father and grandmother are as "wired up" as he) versus nurture (abandonment by Joey's parents, abuse by his grandmother, children's taunts) as factors in Joey's problems. Joey's hard-won triumph will reassure children fighting his same battle and offer insight to their peers. But because the book is so realistic, reading it can be painful and requires patience, just like dealing with a child like Joey. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

About the Author

Jack Gantos has written books for people of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert Honors, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book, and Dead End in Norvelt, winner of the Newbery Medal and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Jack was raised in Norvelt, Pennsylvania, and when he was seven, his family moved to Barbados. He attended British schools, where there was much emphasis on reading and writing, and teachers made learning a lot of fun. When the family moved to south Florida, he found his new classmates uninterested in their studies, and his teachers spent most of their time disciplining students. Jack retreated to an abandoned bookmobile (three flat tires and empty of books) parked out behind the sandy ball field, and read for most of the day. The seeds for Jack's writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister's diary and decided he could write better than she could. He begged his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school, mostly from standing outside the teachers' lounge and listening to their lunchtime conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories. While in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture books. After a series of well-deserved rejections, they published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. It was a success and the beginning of Jack's career as a professional writer. Jack continued to write children's books and began to teach courses in children's book writing and children's literature. He developed the master's degree program in children's book writing at Emerson College and the Vermont College M.F.A. program for children's book writers. He now devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking. He lives with his family in Boston, Massachusetts.

Reviews

* "In this rollercoaster of a ride, ingenuously and breathlessly narrated by Joey himself, readers are treated to an up-close introduction to life with attention deficit disorder--or being wired, as Joey puts it. . . . Readers of this compelling tragicomedy will know almost from the start that Joey's not just a good kid--he's a great kid." --"The Horn Book," starred review "* In this rollercoaster of a ride, ingenuously and breathlessly narrated by Joey himself, readers are treated to an up-close introduction to life with attention deficit disorder--or being wired, as Joey puts it. . . . Readers of this compelling tragicomedy will know almost from the start that Joey's not just a good kid--he's a great kid." --The Horn Book, starred review * In this rollercoaster of a ride, ingenuously and breathlessly narrated by Joey himself, readers are treated to an up-close introduction to life with attention deficit disorder--or being wired, as Joey puts it. . . . Readers of this compelling tragicomedy will know almost from the start that Joey's not just a good kid--he's a great kid. The Horn Book, starred review"

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