cartoon illustrator Corey Egbert was signed to adapt and illustrate Jack Gantos‘ Joey Pigza four mid-level novels in graphic novel form. Originally published between 1998 and 2015, these novels about a college boy overcoming challenges with ADHD and his quirky family were National Book Award finalists and a Newbery Honor Awarded Book. Publication of the first title, Joey Pigza swallowed the keyby the editor Wesley Adams at the publisher FSG will be in the spring of 2024.
Egbert posted on Facebook, saying “Crazy big news. I’m so excited and honored to have the opportunity to adapt @jgantos’ amazing stories to new media so they can be shared with new audiences. Joey is a kid that I can relate to on so many levels – a boy with a good heart who has been through difficult life circumstances, he tries his best even though he falls far short of the mold of a normal child.His journey to find the light within himself is very touching and empowering.
Joey Pigza has a heart, he has a mother who loves him and he has “failed medication”, as he calls the Ritalin pills supposed to reduce his mood swings. Sometimes Joey makes bad choices. He learns the hard way that he shouldn’t stick his finger in the pencil sharpener, swallow his house key, or run with scissors. As Joey knows, if he keeps making bad choices, he could fall through the cracks for good. But he is determined not to let that happen. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key was a finalist for the National Book Award and Joey Pigza Loses Control received the Newbery Honor. Jack Gantos’ series is full of humor and real-life situations that many children can relate to.
Corey Egbert is a Virginia-based illustrator who says he “believes in creating hopeful, imaginative art that empowers young people to make their world a better place.” Agent of Corey Egbert Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 and Jack Gantos’ agent Amy Berkower at Writers House brokered the deal.