Book review: The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza, by Jack Gantos

Gantos, Jack. The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza. (Joey Pigza series.) Farrar Straus Giroux, 2014. $16.99. ISBN 9780374300838. 154 pgs. Ages 10-14. P6Q6

Gantos Key That Swallowed Joey PigzaThis is the fifth book in the Joey Pigza series.  Perhaps readers who have read the other Joey Pigza in the series will enjoy this book more than I did.  I felt that the character development was lacking, although perhaps it was more drawn out in the beginning of the series.  The shenanigans that Joey goes through, trying to find his father and lost baby brother, are slightly amusing and the mystery that ensues is somewhat enticing, but the lack of direction is  disappointing.  From reading other reviews it sounds like it would be very helpful to read the books in order, but most readers agree that this last book in the series is discouraging for readers who have followed Joey through the other books.

January 2016 review by Cody Rosenthal.

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