The hero of Jack Gantos’ Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key is a goodhearted boy with ADHD. Continually in trouble at home and at school, Joey feels abandoned by his parents, while the grandmother who takes care of him is overwhelmed by Joey’s high energy. When Joey’s mother finally returns, she has a new medication to help calm Joey, but when he swallows the house key instead, Joey ends up in a special education class. He finds it incredibly difficult to remain calm at school, and even harder to follow instructions on a school trip to Amish country, where he is tempted by shoofly pie and the opportunity to fly from the rafters of a barn. He has a moment of triumph when he sneaks into the gifted and talented assembly, but matters worsen when he causes an accident with a pair of scissors, and lands himself in the special education center for six weeks. Joey’s misunderstood antics and deeply personal viewpoint grounds Ganto’s novel in reality, and he adeptly portrays Joey’s struggles with sensitivity and delicacy.