Thursday, June 01, 2006

Drums Girls & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

This book is written by a middle school English teacher (but that shouldn't keep you from reading it!), and you can certainly tell that he knows kids that age - the characters and situations they face are true-to-life. I enjoyed the book so much I couldn't put it down. It's very funny, and also tragic. Written in journal form, the book chronicles a year in Steven's life. One morning while he is making oatmeal for his little brother Jeffrey, Jeffrey develops a nosebleed that won't quit. It turns out that he has leukemia. Their mom has to quit her job to take Jeffrey for his treatments, so their family income is cut in half, and Steven is left with just his father (who doesn't communicate very well) a lot of the time. He feels neglected and also guilty for feeling neglected. Meanwhile, he's going through all the normal teenage stuff like having a crush on a girl who doesn't notice him at all. Steven is a talented drummer, the youngest ever selected for the All-City High School Jazz Band, and the book is also full of music. This is a great story of a funny, engaging boy whose family is in crisis. Review by Stacy Church

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