Joey Pigza, is an eleven year old boy who has troubles concentrating in every aspect of his life. Joey has ADHD, and even with medication his temperament and wild behavior are out of control. He is a good kid with a caring heart, but his failure to control his impulses has now become dangerous as he has not only injured himself, but his classmates as well. Joey Pigza admits he is "wired wrong" and that he feels unable to control his behavior most of the time. Joey has good and bad days and takes his medication in the morning, but by the time lunch is over, he is bouncing off the walls. Joey often is unable to sit still, speaks when he should not, and acts out in ways he almost cannot help. He swallows his house key, secretly eats a pie, twists his ankle, and eventually harms another student as a result of his hyper nature. Joey's school has a hard time with him and doesn't have the resources to provide the care he needs.
Joey Pigza's mom and dad have been out of his life since he was a baby. They left him to be raised by his emotionally abusive grandmother. The desertion of his mother and the subsequent years of emotional abuse at the hands of his equally wired grandmother has not helped his ADHD and the way he deals with tough situations. After Joey’s alcoholic mother cleans herself up a bit, she returns to take care of him. His grandmother didn't believe there was anything medically wrong with him and the medication he has been taking since his mom arrived isn't working like it ought to. His dad is out of the picture and he was bullied by neighborhood children who would tie him up like a dog and make fun of him. Joey’s school has a hard time dealing with his outbursts and does not have the resources to provide the education and care that he needs to be a successful student.
Joey has had years and years of unstableness and confusion surrounding the abandonment...