Alex Awards. 2019
"Boston, 1992. David Greenfeld is one of the few white kids at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Middle School. Everybody clowns him, girls ignore him, and his hippie parents won't even buy him a pair of Nikes, let alone transfer him to a private school. Unless he tests into the city's best public high school--which, if practice tests are any indication, isn't likely--he'll be friendless for the foreseeable future. Nobody's more surprised than Dave when Marlon Wellings sticks up for him in the school cafeteria. Mar's a loner from the public housing project on the corner of Dave's own gentrifying block, and he confounds Dave's assumptions about black culture: He's nerdy and neurotic, a Celtics obsessive whose favorite player is the gawky, white Larry Bird. Before long, Mar's coming over to Dave's house every afternoon to watch vintage basketball tapes and plot their hustle to Harvard. But as Dave welcomes his new best friend into his world, he realizes how little he knows about Mar's. Cracks gradually form in their relationship, and Dave starts to become aware of the breaks he's been given--and that Mar has not."
"A red oak tree and a crow help their human neighbors work out their differences"--
"Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree" -- people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood. You might say that Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcomng, and Red's experience as a wishtree is more important than ever"--
From the Publisher: "They say I'm wired bad, or wired sad, but there's no doubt about it-I'm wired." Joey Pigza's got heart, he's got a mom who loves him, and he's got "dud meds," which is what he calls the Ritalin pills that are supposed to even out his wild mood swings. Sometimes Joey makes bad choices. He learns the hard way that he shouldn't stick his finger in the pencil sharpener, or swallow his house key, or run with scissors. Joey ends up bouncing around a lot-and eventually he bounces himself all the way downtown, into the district special-ed program, which could be the end of the line. As Joey knows, if he keeps making bad choices, he could just fall between the cracks for good. But he is determined not to let that happen. In this antic yet poignant new novel, Jack Gantos has perfect pitch in capturing the humor, the off-the-wall intensity, and the serious challenges that life presents to a kid dealing with hyperactivity and related disorders.
Sequel: Joey Pigza loses control.
Originally published in 1998 by Farrar Straus & Giroux -- verso page.
National book award winner.
When Joey Pigza meets his dad, Carter, for the first time in years, he meets a grownup version of his old hyperactive self -- the way he was before his stint in special ed, the way he was before he got his new meds. "He was wired. No doubt about it ... Now I knew what Mom meant when she said he was like me, only bigger." During their summer visit together, Carter is eager to make up to his son for past wrongs. He wants to teach Joey how to be a winner. He wants to show Joey how to take control of his own life. And Joey is willing to do whatever his dad says, even though -- in this high-energy sequel to the acclaimed Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key -- he fears it will do him more harm than good. "All I could imagine was the worst part of me getting on a train a long ways off. That old Joey was coming to get me and I couldn't do anything about it ... There was nothing to do but wait, and worry."--Jacket flap.
Joey, who is still taking medication to keep him from getting too wired, goes to spend the summer with the hard-drinking father he has never known and tries to help the baseball team he coaches win the championship.
Sequel to: Joey Pigza swallowed the key.
Newbery Honor Book, 2001 ; American Library Association Notables, 2001 ; School Library Journal Best Books, 2000 ; and Booklist Editors' Choice/Books for Youth, 2000.