Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos

This book is the first in a series, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Joey is a hyper, impulsive, energetic boy who simply can't control himself. He literally tries to spin himself like a top after being sent into the hallway by his teacher. He leaps from the rafters of a barn after eating a whole pie at an Amish farm. And, of course, he actually swallows his house key for a dollar. His teachers are concerned about his disruptions, but they are also worried about the safety of the other students. Can Joey control himself before someone gets seriously hurt, or are more drastic actions needed to get a grip on his life?

Joey is a very likable person, but he's that hyperactive kid we've all seen running out of control. The author does a nice job of describing Joey's thoughts and the difficulty he has with staying focused. He also shows how Joey's character affects other people, like the teachers, students, and Joey's grandmother and mother. The book has many run-on sentences to symbolize the way ideas race through his mind. The plot was a good reminder to me, as a teacher, of the medical difficulties some students face in trying to control their behaviors.

Lexile level from lexile.com 970


  1. Good to see you are reading! But are you REALLY reading? Take a look at The Brain Lair's challenge:


  2. I'm doing some grown-up reading too, so I probably won't get through as many student novels as I have the past couple of summers.

  3. I read this book in fourth grade!


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