Joey Pigza Loses Control


Jack Gantos

Number of Pages: 


Minimum grade level: 


Discussion questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. As the book opens we learn that Joey is on his way to visit his father. What is he expecting the trip will be like?
  2. Joey says about his dad "I just want him to love me as much as I already love him" (pg. 10). Do you think this is possible? Why or why not?
  3. There are several funny scenes in the book. Pick out your favorite and read it aloud to the group.
  4. What is Joey's dad like? What problems does he face?
  5. How does Joey feel about his grandma? What kind of person is she? How did she raise Joey's father?
  6. Why do you think Joey's father wants him to stop using the patches?
  7. What happens after the patches are flushed down the toilet?
  8. What is Joey's experience on the baseball team like? What motivates Joey's dad to be a coach?
  9. When does Joey realize he is losing control? How does he take that control back?
  10. What does Joey learn about himself and his family during his trip?
  11. What do you predict is the future for each of the characters in the novel?


Joey has a hard time with food that has a lot of sugar. Try fruit, pretzels, or granola bars.

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