Just when you thought the saga of Joey Pigza was complete, there is a new book by Jack Gantos that demonstrates once again that Joey is a kid we love to see again. In this 4th book, Joey's long last Dad returns having won some money in the lottery. He is now Charles Heinz, and he has a plan to change not only his life but the life of Joey and his mother. Before you can wrest the ketchup from the bottle, Joey is Freddie Heinz. He and his mother and father are living behind a diner ready to begin their new life together as a family. However, as we have come to expect, all will not go according to plan. Just as Joey's ADHD makes his behavior unpredictable at times, this story takes off in some interesting new directions. Joey is coming to know and understand himself much better. Even after this story ends, readers will rest assured that the new and improved Joey Pigza is a survivor.
Gantos' wild sense of humor runs rampant in the opening chapter and throughout this book. Passages are laugh out loud funny. Chapters, like Joey, propel themselves forward and sideways, too. Those who already know and love Joey will be pleased to see his progress. And for those who have not read about Joey yet will read this book and then feel they have to go back and read the previous ones as well. Bravo, Jack for bringing Joey and those of us who love him some closure.