Summary and book reviews of Joey Pigza Loses Control by Jack Gantos

Joey Pigza Loses Control

By Jack Gantos

Joey Pigza Loses Control
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Sep 2000,
    208 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2002,
    208 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

When Joey Pigza meets his dad, Carter, for the first time in years, he meets a grownup version of his old hyperactive self -- the way he was before his stint in special ed, the way he was before he got his new meds.

"He was wired, No doubt about it . . . , Now I knew what Mom meant when she said he was like me, only bigger."

During their summer visit together, Carter is eager to make up to his son for past wrongs. He wants to teach Joey how to be a winner. He wants to show Joey how to take control of his own life. And Joey is willing to do whatever his dad says, even though -- in this high-energy sequel to the acclaimed Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key -- he fears it will do him more harm than good.

"All I could imagine was the worst part of me getting or a train a long ways off.  That old Joey was coming to get me and I couldn't do anything about it . . . There was nothing to do but wait, and worry."

Chapter 1
Potholes

We were on our way to Dad's house and Mom was driving with both hands clamped tightly around the wheel as if she had me by the neck. I had been snapping my seat belt on and off and driving her nuts by asking a hundred what if's about Dad. She'd been hearing them for two weeks already and wasn't answering. But that didn't stop me. What if he's not nice? What if he hates me? What if he's as crazy as you always said he was? What if he drinks and gets nasty? What if I don't like him? What if Grandma tries to put me in the refrigerator again? What if they make Pablo sleep outside? What if they don't eat pizza? What if I want to come home quick, can I hire a helicopter?

"Yes," she said to my last question, not really listening. She was taking the long roller-coaster way to Pittsburgh, which was up and down about a million mountain backroads, because she was afraid of driving too fast on the turnpike. As she said before we loaded...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews
School Library Journal

Readers will be drawn in immediately to the boy's gripping first-person narrative and be pulled pell-mell through episodes that are at once hilarious, harrowing, and ultimately heartening as Joey grows to understand himself and the people around him. The ride home isn't smooth, but it is hopeful and loving. Does this mean that he is on the way to a happy, "normal" life? Grades 4-8.

Publishers Weekly

Like its predecessor (Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key), this high-voltage, honest novel mixes humor, pain, fear and courage with deceptive ease. Struggling to please everyone even as he sees himself hurtling toward disaster, Joey emerges as a sympathetic hero, and his heart of gold never loses its shine. Ages 10-up

Kirkus

As if Joey didn't get into enough trouble in his unforgettable debut, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (1998), Gantos has him wig out again in this sad, scary, blackly funny sequel.... A tragic tale in many ways, but a triumph too. (Ages 11-13)

Reader Reviews
Phillip

Joey pigza book #3
This book was fantastic, it had a lot of emotion and it described all of Joey's feelings. Joey went from his old wired self to a normal boy. Joey's grandmother died at the end of the book and Joey did everything correctly. I totally understand the ...   Read More

KIKI

joey pigza loses control
This is really, really great!

Louis B

Joey Pigza review
Uh I thought this book was great, it tied in well with the first Joey Pigza, I recommend this book for any one that has a "free book project" or if they want to relax, or just get some laughs. Its a great " pick up and go book"

Joe G.

Confusing book
This book is probably the best I've ever read. It was quite confusing, but I enjoyed it!

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Joey Pigza Loses Control, try these:

  • Al Capone Shines My Shoes jacket

    Al Capone Shines My Shoes

    by Gennifer Choldenko

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Moose and the cons are about to get a lot closer in this much-anticipated sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts. Recommended for ages 10+.

  • Because of Winn-Dixie jacket

    Because of Winn-Dixie

    by Kate DiCamillo

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Take one disarmingly engaging protagonist and put her in the company of a tenderly rendered canine, and you've got yourself a recipe for the best kind of down-home literary treat. Kate DiCamillo's voice in Because of Winn-Dixie should carry from the steamy, sultry pockets of Florida clear across the miles to enchant young readers everywhere...

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...
  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  116Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson
  2.  20The Arsonist:
    Sue Miller

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.