Video Jack is Back as JOEY PIGZA! Exclusive Jack Gantos Video Interview…

I had the great pleasure of traveling to Boston to witness Jack Gantos read his fifth and final book in the multi-award-winning Joey Pigza series, THE KEY THAT SWALLOWED JOEY PIGZA.
I laughed, cheered, and even cried a little, hearing Jack bid farewell to Joey and his loveable, dysfunctional family.

joeypigzaOne out of ten kids today are living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder* and this series has been instrumental for teachers, parents, and librarians to discuss this reality. Not only do kids with ADHD see themselves in Joey, but the students around them are given the opportunity to better understand their ADHD peers. On a personal note, ADHD runs in my family {which always adds excitement to family gatherings}, and I have seen firsthand how impactful the Joey Pigza series is with tween listeners.
*For more information on ADHD visit: and

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH JACK: “I may have finished but the books live on.”
Watch this short video to hear Jack talk about Joey as he records THE KEY THAT SWALLOWED JOEY PIGZA for audio.

Click here to see a longer video that will compliment any classroom lesson or discussion involving the Joey Pigza series. Jack talks about what he tried to accomplish thematically with this series, the actual boy who inspired the character of Joey, his use of humor in writing for kids, who contributed to his love of writing and storytelling…and more!

PRODUCER/DIRECTOR DAN ZITT: “I jumped at the chance to be in the studio with [Jack].”
hug2I asked Dan Zitt, VP Content Production, Penguin Random House Audio and Living Language, about what it was like to collaborate with Jack Gantos on this audiobook. Here’s what Dan had to say:

“Working with Jack to record the last Joey Pigza title was exciting and sad. I’ve been a fan of Jack for many years so I jumped at the chance to be in the studio with him, knowing that this audio has to be a worthy companion to the rest of the series. His devotion to Joey and his motivation for creating this character are never more evident than when he’s reading the text aloud.

Jack_booth2The bittersweet reality that this is the last Pigza title was offset by watching an author with a true passion for what he has created. This audio continues the lesson that Jack wants to impart to all of the young people out there who identify with Joey, and take some measure of strength from someone who is, like them, a little different but no less special. This may be the end of the series but Jack’s narration will resonate for many years to come.”

Written & read by Jack Gantos
Available October 28th, 2014 on CD and downloadable audio


The entire Joey Pigza series is available from Listening Library. For more on the author & his books, visit
Books available from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

CRITICS ARE RAVING: 4 starred reviews and just announced as a finalist for the Kirkus Book Prize!

“The fifth and (ostensibly) final book in the multi-award-winning Joey Pigza chronicle features all of the drama, havoc, and heart readers have come to expect, dread, and love…The conclusion to Gantos’ beloved and much-lauded series is big news, and Joey’s fans of all ages will want to grab their copies as soon as possible.”Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Collectively, the Pigza series is a poignant examination of modern dysfunction, a window into how kids in tough family situations come to believe they are damaged and incapable of redemption.”Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Joey takes on his toughest set of challenges yet in this heart-rending, triumphant series finale…Dark, funny and pawzzz-i-tively brilliant.”Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Readers who have read the previous books and come to know and love Joey will appreciate the irony and emotional punch of his final triumph. Give this groundbreaking, heartbreaking title to readers mature and sensitive enough to understand the author’s black humor and seriousness.”School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

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