Joey Pigza Loses Control
by Jack Gantos
This is the sequel to Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key
, the continuing story of an extremely hyperactive but basically good little boy, whose family does more to screw him up than anything else.
Joey's father, Carter Pigza, also has behavior problems (not to mention drinking problems). But Carter has cleaned himself up and sued for visitation rights. Mom decides to take the easy way out (and maybe a vacation from Joey), and she lets Carter have him for six weeks during the summer. This means spending most of his day with, you guessed it, Grandma, who has the patent on messed up mental wiring AND a bad case of emphysema.
Accompanied by his Chihuahua-Dachshund named Pablo, Joey goes to Pittsburgh hoping to find out that his father, whom he has never met, loves him as much as he already loves his father. Unfortunately, Carter does not turn out to be a healthy influence. As Carter spirals ever deeper into a drinking binge and loses control of his nasty temper, he also talks motor-mouth and doesn't listen to his son, and gets all kinds of crazy ill-conceived ideas like, worst of all, flushing all of Joey's meds down the toilet because he feels they're a crutch his son can do without.
Well, he's wrong. And what it leads to, at the championship little-league game where Joey is supposed to continue a winning streak as pitcher, is a total meltdown and the point where it becomes clear that Joey's father cannot be part of his life.
The books are both very good, and if you get the same edition I got, you can put the front covers of both books side by side and between them, get a look at Joey Pigza's face (which is split between the two covers). Boy, will your heart go out to Joey! A terrific character!
Recommended Age: 10+
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