Joey Pigza really wants his six-week visit with his dad to count, to show him he's not as wired as he used to be, to show his dad how much he loves him. But Carter Pigza's not an easy guy to love. He's eager to make it up to Joey for past wrongs and to show him how to be a winner, to take control of his life. With his coaching, Joey's even learned how to pitch a baseball, and he's good at it. The trouble is, Joey's dad thinks taking control means giving up the things that keep Joey safe. And if he wants to please his dad, he's going to have to play by his rules, even when the rules don't make sense.
Why it's MIGHTY:
The main character, Joey Pigza, is one of the most endearing characters I've ever read. Every kid knows somebody like him: obnoxious, loud, and totally out of control. But Gantos writes him so well that we love him, and by loving Joey, we're able to do a little better at loving those around us who may seem the least loveable. Yes, I used variations of the word "love" four times in that sentence, which tells you how I feel about this book. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key is actually the first book in this series, but this was the one that got to me most.