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|Key that swallowed Joey Pigza|
Author: Gantos, Jack
Everything goes topsy-turvy for Joey as he becomes the man of the house, looking after his new baby brother, taking care of his troubled mother, and seeking out his missing father.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 168472
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 7.60
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 66164
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/14)
School Library Journal (09/01/14)
Booklist (+) (09/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/11/14)
The Hornbook (+) (00/11/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2014 *Starred Review* The fifth and (ostensibly) final book in the multi-award-winning Joey Pigza chronicle features all of the drama, havoc, and heart readers have come to expect, dread, and love. Joey is back in his roachy row house with his mother and new baby brother, Carter Jr., as the family works to find some normalcy following the tragicomic chaos perpetrated by his now-absent father. But it’s not long before Fran, struggling with postpartum depression, checks herself into a hospital, leaving Joey to take care of the baby alone. Gantos piles on the problems, defining them in searing, heartrending detail; for all the peril of Joey’s circumstances, it is his parents’ brutal honesty that leaves welts. Still, Joey’s indomitable spirit, grounded in his fierce, tender devotion to baby Carter and expressed through Gantos’ inimitable comic tone, shows the fragile adults around him just what it looks like to be the man of the house. The book, with the series, closes on a fitting note of tenuous, plausible hope. High-Demand Backstory: The conclusion of Gantos’ beloved and much-lauded series is big news, and Joey’s fans of all ages will want to grab their copies as soon as possible. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2014 Gr 5–7—The final "Joey Pigza" novel begins as Joey narrates his present situation back in his "roachy row house on Plum St." He is without a medical patch to treat his ADHD because his mom can't remember where she hid them. Joey's father has gotten a botched face-lift and runs away again. When Joey receives a call at school from his frantic mother pleading for him to come home because she's afraid she will hurt Carter Junior, Joey rushes home, afraid of what he might find. Things go from bad to worse as Joey tries to comfort his mom. She winds up checking herself into a hospital for depression, leaving middle-schooler Joey to care for his baby brother. Woeful metaphors describe Joey's dysfunctional predicament and ensuing altercations with his dad, who is stalking the family in order to kidnap the baby. Joey takes responsibility for his condition, as well as challenges his father to do the same. This may be the darkest volume yet in Gantos's series. Readers who have read the previous books and come to know and love Joey will appreciate the irony and emotional punch of his final triumph. Give this groundbreaking, heartbreaking title to readers mature and sensitive enough to understand the author's black humor and seriousness.—D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.