79 pages 2 hours read

Jack Gantos

Hole In My Life

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 2002

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Hole in My Life

  • Genre: Nonfiction; memoir
  • Originally Published: 2002
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 840L; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 3 parts; 16 chapters; approx. 224 pages; approx. 4 hours, 20 minutes on audio
  • Central Concern: Gantos relates his experiences as a teenager and aspiring writer who joins a drug-smuggling job to earn money for college but is apprehended and spends time in prison. While there, he keeps a journal and discovers the motivation he has lacked to start writing.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Violence, including prison rape; illegal drug trade; drug use

Jack Gantos, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1971 in Pennsylvania; grew up in Florida and the Caribbean; began keeping a journal in sixth grade, recording anecdotes that would inspire many of his stories; collaborated with illustrator Nicole Rubel on his first published book, Rotten Ralph; developed master’s programs in children’s book writing at Emerson College and Vermont College; writes books for all ages, from young children to adults
  • Other Works: Rotten Ralph (1976); Desire Lines (1997); Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (1998); Dead End in Norvelt (2011); The Trouble in Me (2015); Writing Radar (2017)
  • Awards: Michael L. Printz Honor Book (2003); Robert F. Sibert Honor Book (2003)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • The Desire for Lived Experience in Order to Write
  • Prison Violence