In the latest Joey Pigza novel, I am Not Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos, things are going well for sixth grader Joey Pigza. He has a new dog named Pablita, he likes his new teacher Mr. Turner “because he takes me less seriously than he has to, even though he once asked me if my mouth had a tiny mind all of its own” (p. 9), his ADHD meds are helping him take control and his mom is happy. Actually, his mom is suspiciously happy. One afternoon Joey opens the door to his dad, crazy Carter Pigza, and his ordered world changes in the blink of an eye. His dad won the lottery, invested in a diner, changed his name to Charles Heinz, and is ready to complete the transformation with a new family – Joey’s. As Joey, aka Freddy Heinz, struggles to cope with a new school and new life, he vows to remember who he is now and worries about losing his “old” self. While this latest installment of Joey Pigza races to an inevitable conclusion, one hilarious and heartwarming chapter after another, readers may wonder how Joey’s mom was drawn into this web, especially after his father’s actions in the previous book. Though suspiciously contrived, the presence of new baby Pigza will undoubtedly provide fodder for several new books for Joey.
Gantos is also authors the Rotten Ralph and Jack Henry series of children's books as well as several young adult titles.
Tags: I am not Joey Pigza, Jack Gantos, Juvenile literature, Children's books