New MG Book Review: The Dented Head of Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos
The Dented Head of Joey Pigza is not the first book Jack Gantos has written for the MG market. His previous books include “Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key,” a finalist for the National Book Award, and “Joey Pigza Loses Control,” a finalist for the Newbery Medal. He has narrated the audio editions for all the Pigza novels. It’s the perfect book for your MG Book fan.
About this new MG Book Choice:
In the author’s own words:
Jack Gantos talks about his latest MG Book on YouTube
Joey Pigza wants to win! In this audio-only adventure, Jack Gantos’s beloved hero races back into kids’ hearts with a tale about running, perseverance, and life’s inevitable crashes.
Despite his beat-up old shoes and struggles with ADHD, Joey won’t let anything hold him back—after all, he’s the lightning-fast champion of schoolyard races. But when a high-speed collision leaves him with a dented head and more problems than ever, can our infectiously impulsive hero overcome his hurdles and dash to the top?
In this zany and surprisingly inspiring listen, perfect for kids ages 8 and up, our chaotic hero realizes he can’t outrun his troubles. Joining him this time around in a series of hyperactive hijinks are his eccentric Granny and his ever-faithful Chihuahua, Pablo.
Written and performed by the multi-talented Jack Gantos, and delivered in a wildly energetic voice, this gem is full of the hilarity and heart that made the Joey Pigza creator a Newbery Award-winning children’s book icon.
Cover illustration by Laurie Keller.
My Review of this MG New Release
Joey Pigza tries to convince himself that although he’s been bad more than once, that he can be better. He desperately wants to be a winner, just once in his life. He struggles with attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, and that only complicates things.
An upcoming race gives Jimmy a chance not only to be a winner, but the prize is a coveted pair of new tennis shoes. His are shot and the sole flaps when he walks down the hallway at school. But, merely another reason for the kids to make fun of him.
Joey needs someone in his court to cheer him on. His parents are in jail, so he’s living with his chain-smoking grandmother. She’s never been successful in believing in Jimmy herself. That leaves him little wiggle room to try to turn the tide.
The only one he can turn to is his little chihuahua, Pablo. Their association with the Vet is one of the few positive interactions Joey has until the coach decides to help him manage summer school and the threat of being held back in school. Every middle-school boy will love the humor in the most recent book in the Joey Pigza stories.
Boys Will Have Fun With This New MG Book
The Dented Head of Joey Pigza is a perfect book for any child who can’t imagine being a winner but consistently considers themselves a loser. When Joey bashes his head against the doors at school in a sprint to get outside, the new dent in his forehead further convinces him he’ll never quite measure up.
I loved this book primarily because I could hear the laughter of my boys reading it…if we could only go back to the ’70’s!
If you have a child who struggles with ADHD or who doesn’t feel like he can ever measure up to the other kids in sports or scholastically, this is a perfect book to use to open conversations and deal with frustrating emotions that only intensify as they near puberty.
Be sure to check out the other books written by Jack Gantos.