Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key

Basic Info:

Written by Jack Gantos. Published by Macmillian in 1998.

Book Review:

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key is the story of Joey Pigza, a young boy who has always been told that he is “wired.” This book follows him as he deals with an ADHD diagnosis and his attempts to manage his behavior and medicine. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key received the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. This book would be excellent for young readers experiencing their first chapter books, particularly those who struggle with ADHD-like issues themselves. Furthermore, this book would be good for young students who share a classroom with someone like Joey Pigza so that they might better understand what being “wired” really feels like.


This is a great study guide for Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key that could be a great starting point for a lesson or unit based on the book (should be modified based on the age of the readers).

Readers who enjoyed this book might like other books in the Joey Pigza series including those listed in this website.



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