Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos
  

Synopsis

Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos

Jack Gantos, bestselling author of the Joey Pigza books, had a peripatetic childhood around the US and the Caribbean. At 18 years old, he was doing a dead-end job on a Caribbean island, looking for adventure and a way to fund himself through university. When he was offered $10,000 to sail a boatload of drugs to New York, he jumped at it. It resulted in a year in a federal prison - and a lot of thinking time. In prison, Jack discovered the library where he was able to indulge his passion for literature and continue to write the journal he'd started in childhood. Denied a diary of his own by prison regulations, he wrote his notes in a tiny hand between the lines of a Russian novel. Becoming ever more determined to get to university, Jack discovered that he didn't have to let one bad choice map out the course of the rest of his life. There are such things as second chances. Paroled after a year in order to go directly to college to study writing, Jack had his first children's book published within two years of being released.

Reviews

A memoir, by turns harrowing and hilarious, about a huge mistake. -- Miami Herald

Gantos really is Everyman, but an Everyman who has landed himself into a deeper pit than most. What separates Gantos is the determination that took him out of his dreams and into a successful life as a writer. Those writerly skills are in full evidence here, in this thoughtful and provocative memoir as valuable to those who have never heard of Gantos as to those who have read all of his books. -- Hyde Park Review of Books

This true tale of the worst year in the author's life will be a big surprise for his many fans. . . .This is a story of mistakes, dues, redemption, and finally success at what he always wanted to do: write books. -- Kirkus Reviews , Starred Review

About the Author

Jack Gantos

Jack Gantos was born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. He remembers a lot of "pass the chalk" in Mrs. Neiderheizer's first grade. He was in the Bluebird reading group, which he later found out was for the slow readers. To this day he'd rather be called a Bluebird than a slow reader. His favorite game at that time was pretending that his clothes were on fire and rolling down a hill to save himself.

When he was seven, his family moved to Barbados. He attended British school, where there was much emphasis on reading and writing. Students were friendly but fiercely competitive, and the teachers made learning a lot of fun. By fifth grade, he had managed to learn 90 percent of what he knows to this very day.

When the family moved to south Florida, he found his new classmates uninterested in their studies, and his teachers spent most of their time disciplining students. Jack retreated to an abandoned bookmobile (three flat tires and empty of books) parked out behind the sandy ball field, and read for most of the day. His greatest wish in life is to replace trailer parks, which he thinks will eliminate most of the targets for tornadoes and educate an entire generation of great kids who now go to schools that are underfunded and substandard.

The seeds for Jack's writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister's diary and decided that he could write better than she could. He begged his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school, mostly from standing outside the teachers' lounge and listening to their lunchtime conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories.

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
224 pages

Author

Jack Gantos
More books by Jack Gantos

Publisher

Definitions an imprint of Random House Children's Publishers UK

Publication date

6th January 2005

ISBN

9780099475873


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