Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Book Review- Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

When we first meet Steven Apler in Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie he is like any other 8th grade boy your might know. He has a crush on Renee Albert “the hottest girl in the 8th grade”, but cannot muster up the courage to talk to her. He plays drums and has even been asked to be part of All County Jazz band. He finds his parents kind of embarrassing, and considers his five year old brother Jeffrey to be the most annoying person in the world. In fact, he finds his brother so annoying that when the journal topic in English class is the “most annoying thing in the world” Steven writes his essay about Jeffrey.

Steven’s life changes drastically though one morning in October of his 8th grade year when his brother falls off of a kitchen stool, while in Steven’s care, and bleeds all over the kitchen floor. Steven’s mother rushes Jeffrey emergency room and later that week Steven learns that his brother has been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia or ALL, a form of blood cancer.

Jeffrey’s cancer means the Steven’s mom immediately takes a leave of absence from her job to care for Jeffrey. It means that Jeffrey needs to go to Philadelphia almost every week for harsh cancer treatments. It means that Steven’s father mostly does not talk to Steven when they are the only two at home because he does not know what to say about the whole situation. It means Steven stops paying attention in school and does not do any of his homework for two months. It means piling up medical bills that Steven worries his parent’s will not be able to pay.

Luckily, the people around Steven are much better people than Steven has given them credit for. Will Steven rise to the challenge of being a good big brother to Jeffrey? Will he be able to catch up on all the work he missed when he started ignoring school? Will his parents find the money to pay for the medical bills? How will Jeffrey fare with his cancer treatments? Read this book to find out.

I highly recommend Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie. It is funny and believable. I found Steven to be a very compelling character because at the beginning of the story he was sort of angry and his brother’s sickness changeshim for the better. If you are looking for a story with heart and some laughs,I would recommend this title.

Jordan Sonnenblick is also the author of these young adult titles: After Ever After, Notes From the Midnight Driver, and Zen and the Art of Faking It.
-Katie at the Chester County Library

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