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THE KEY THAT SWALLOWED JOEY PIGZA
New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2014
IL 5-8, RL 5.1
Homeschooling didn't go so well for Joey Pigza so the decision has been made for him to return to public school. He is back living in the same house but now Dad is no longer around and Mom is having difficulty coping with life. The only good thing is Carter Junior. He is perfect. Joey isn't sure about going back to school. But the first day is starting out OK. Joey is trying to be positive. Then the phone call comes. Joey's mother needs Joey to come home right away to take care of the baby. She is losing it and needs to check herself in to the hospital. She needs Joey to be the man of the house . Joey really tries. He is determined to make things better for his mother. His mother makes Joey promise not to let his father take the baby. And then his angry friend Olivia shows up because she has run away from "blind school" and is hiding out at his house. Through all the craziness that swirls around him, Joey is trying to remain positive and be the normal one in the group.