Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

I first discovered Jordan Sonnenblick when I read After, Ever After.  As soon as I finished I dug back into my box of books to look for Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie (Scholastic 2004) so I could learn the story of Jeffrey’s big brother Steven.  I was horrified when I couldn’t find it and couldn’t remember who I had lent it to before I read it myself.  Then this week, my daughter dug it out of her room and returned it to me.  Mystery solved!  I was not disappointed.

Steven has it pretty good as he starts 8th grade.  He is one of two middle schoolers in the All-City Jazz Band where he rocks out on drums.  He has a crush on Renee, the hottest girl in school, and enjoys hanging with his best friend and pianist Annette–at least when she’s not being nosy and nagging him to do his homework.  He even tolerates his too-cute and oh-so-annoying little brother Jeffrey.

Then Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia, and Jeffrey’s world falls into shambles.  His mom spends night after night away from home in the hospital with Jeffrey while his dad shuts down and stops talking to him at all.  At school, Steven pretends that everything is fine, except for the fact he just quits doing his homework and dazes out class.  Eventually it will all blow up, and no one, not even Steven, can know where all the pieces will fall.

My daughter asked me when she was done, “Do guys really think like that?”  Having only taught and not been a middle school boy, I can’t say for sure, but I suspect that Sonnenblick gets inside the mind of with stunning accuracy.  After all, he was one.  He also gets us inside the mind of life of Steven with humor and compassion.  I can’t wait to share this one with my students–and check out his latest offering, Curveball:  The Year I Lost My Grip.

4 Comments on Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

  1. Mrs. Klein
    July 22, 2012 at 10:23 pm (2 years ago)

    Jordan Sonnenblick is coming to our school in April, so I have been reading and listening to his books in advance. I have yet to read this one, but I LOVED Notes from the Midnight Driver, which I finished this past Wednesday. What a sense of humor! I did not feel irritated by the characters’ sarcasm, which can happen sometimes. I also enjoyed After Ever After; it made me cry while I was trying to weed my beach. Teardrops on the inside of my glasses interfered with my ability to see what I was doing! I look forward to reading Drums and getting to know Steven.

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      July 23, 2012 at 9:10 am (2 years ago)

      I am so jealous you get Sonnenblick to visit your school. I read After Ever After first, too, and loved getting to know Stephen. I can see why Jeffrey looked up to him so much.

      Reply
  2. csatta
    June 18, 2012 at 9:59 am (3 years ago)

    Hi Kay,

    I read this book when we got it off the Scholastic Book Fair years ago and really liked it, too. Gotta read some of his newer books.

    Best,

    Carol

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      June 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm (3 years ago)

      Me, too! This copy had the first part of Notes from the Midnight Driver in the back. I’ve never laughed so hard at garden gnomes!

      Reply

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