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12 and HoldingA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Lethal InheritanceA Mother's Courage: Talking Back to AutismA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Special EducationA Toss Of The DiceA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainABC of Eating DisordersADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your LifeADHD Grown UpADHD in the Schools: Assessment and Intervention StrategiesADHD NationAdolescence and Body ImageAdolescent DepressionAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAlpha GirlsAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAsperger Syndrome and Your ChildAsperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and IdentityAsperger's and GirlsAssessment of Childhood DisordersAttention Deficit DisorderAttention-Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderAutism - The Eighth Colour of the RainbowAutism and MeAutism's False ProphetsAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBeen There, Done That? 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Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTemple GrandinThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe Bipolar ChildThe Boy Who Loved Too MuchThe Boy Who Loved WindowsThe Boy Who Was Raised as a DogThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully Action GuideThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Burn JournalsThe Color of AbsenceThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Evolution of ChildhoodThe Explosive ChildThe Eyes of van GoghThe Fasting GirlThe Field of the DogsThe Flight of a DoveThe Hidden Gifts of the Introverted ChildThe Horse BoyThe Identity TrapThe Inner World of a Suicidal YouthThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Kindness of StrangersThe Last Normal ChildThe Little MonsterThe Medicated ChildThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Perversion of YouthThe Philosophy of AutismThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Ride TogetherThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Science of ADHDThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Survival Guide for Kids With LD*The Unhappy ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouThings Tom LikesThrough the Glass WallThumbsuckerTotally WiredTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreating ADHD and Comorbid DisordersTreatment of Childhood DisordersTwistedUnder the Wolf, Under the DogUnhappy TeenagersUnstrange MindsWastedWe've Got IssuesWeather Reports from the Autism FrontWhat about the KidsWhat in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?What Works for Whom?What Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhat's Happening to Tom?When Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhose America?Why Don't Students Like SchoolWill's ChoiceWinnicott On the ChildWorried All the TimeYou Hear MeYoung Minds in Social WorldsYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?
Its hard to imagine that any children really have
families as dysfunctional as Joey Pigzas, except when one thinks about people
one knows, and then one realizes that truth can be just as strange as this
piece of fiction. Nevertheless, Joey
Pigza does have a pretty crazy life. His
father is back in town, trying to get his mothers attention, but they just end
up having screaming matches and she takes out a restraining order on him. His father kidnaps Joeys dog Pablo, along
with lots of other Chihuahuas from the neighborhood, to get Joeys
attention. Joeys grandmother keeps on
talking about her death, telling Joey she is just waiting until she has
finished her store of cigarettes until she decides to die. When she becomes too upset by all the
goings-on at the house, she borrows Joeys medication patch which he wears to
avoid being too hyper and wired, pulling it off him and putting it on her own
neck. Joey is now being home-schooled
by Mrs. Lapp with her obnoxious blind daughter Olivia. When Joey and Olivia go to the supermarket
together, she does all she can to get him into trouble. Every time Joey goes to the Lapps home,
Mrs. Lapp asks him What Would Jesus Do?, but Joey is happy to play this game
with her, but of course, he is mostly concerned with what Joey should do.
In What Would Joey Do? Joey Pigza is just
about the sanest person around. He is
no longer shouting, Can I get back to you on that? to everyone, and he never
swallows any keys. His relationship
with his Grandma is much better than it was before, and he even shows some
readiness to make friends with Olivia, despite her nasty attitude towards
him. He takes on responsibility and offers
good advice to both his parents. But
they dont seem to know how to listen to good sense, because they keep letting
their emotions get the better of them.
The family becomes most crazy at Thanksgiving, which starts well but
ends in disaster, and it is at this point that Joey shows amazing maturity.
As with the other Joey Pigza books, the suggested
reading age is 9-12, but the large doses of emotional turmoil and even death in
this story may be somewhat alarming for some children. Gantos does tell a good story, and for
children who are mature enough, What Would Joey Do? should be both
entertaining and emotionally challenging.
In the end, Joey is a survivor, and although its unlikely that his
family is going to get any calmer, he has learned how to cope with their
problems, and the book has a positive message.
Jack Gantos writes powerfully about Joeys family and his struggles with
his own emotions. Gantos reading of
audiobook is excellent.
publishers webpage for What Would Joey Do?
Pigza Loses Control
Pigza Swallowed the Key
© 2002 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.
Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College,
Long Island. He is editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main
research is on philosophical issues in psychiatry. He is especially interested
in exploring how philosophers can play a greater role in public life, and he is
keen to help foster communication between philosophers, mental health
professionals, and the general public.
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