Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos

The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza (Joey Pigza, #5)This 2014 release is the fifth one about Joey Pigza and his struggles to control his behavior. Joey's mom checks herself into the hospital, because she's afraid she might hurt his baby brother or herself. She pulls Joey out of school, so he can take care of his brother and protect him from his father. They haven't seen the father since his facial surgery was messed up, and Mom is afraid he'll kidnap the baby. Joey gets some unexpected help from his angry, blind girlfriend who's run away from her school. Joey isn't known for making good choices, that's why he wasn't allowed in school last year, so it will be an adventure to see if he can keep everyone safe.

I didn't read the last couple books in the series, so I missed out on many important events in the series. This book has a much more serious mood than the amusing antics in book one. Joey's interactions with his girlfriend have funny moments, but the issues with his parents are not humorous at all. I was a little surprised at how well he kept his act together, since that was a major problem in previous books, and the fact the school and child welfare didn't show up. The plot deals with real-world issues of mental illness, divorce, and hyperactivity.

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