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What Would Joey Do?
by Jack Gantos

Category: Fiction / General
228 pages; ISBN: 0807209481

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Dad is back in Lancaster, Pennsylvania causing problems for poor Joey Pigza, who worries that his dad Carter returned by roaring motorcycle to abduct him. However, he revises his theory to that of his father using him because he wants to either irritate or get close to Joey’s mother. Joey’s grandmother knows the world is coming to an end perhaps because of her emphysema, but more likely because Carter, who drives her nuts, is back.

Due to the game of my kid is better, smarter, or whatever than your kid, Joey finds himself, at is mother’s insistence, joining Olivia Lapp at home schooling. With the urging of his “dying” grandma, Joey tries to befriend the sight-challenged Olivia, but his bratty teammate just wants to keep him in trouble. Between her and his family, Joey learns why a dog is a boy’s best friend and wonders if hyperactivity out of control is better than trying to relate to these normal maniacs.

Apparently WHAT WOULD JOEY DO? is the final novel of the JP trilogy to the dismay of this reviewer because this tale, like its predecessors, is a refreshing look at life from the perspective of a preadolescent child coping with hyperactivity. The support cast is a distressing yet delightful group of lunatics, but the story line belongs to the title character, who makes reading fun. A personal plea to Mr. Gantos: please turn Joey into a teenager with hormones running amok because he is too good an individual to be shelved.

Harriet Klausner


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