Sunday, April 11, 2010

DRUMS GIRLS AND DANGEROUS PIE, by Jordan Sonnenblick Posted by Mrs. Schauer

by Jordan Sonnenblick
AR: Yes
Interest Level: Upper Middle Grades and Higher

This book has been on my shelf for as long as I've been in my library (four years) and it has been read by countless teen-aged boys--Bubba, Derek, Wessels, and other kids that have to REALLY like a book to give it a thumbs-up, have praised this one. When I have a reluctant reader walk in, and a guy who's read this one is in the library, they ALWAYS recommend it. (OK, to be fair, it's typically a toss up between this one and Vizzini's BE MORE CHILL, but what great company!) I've been meaning to read this one for a long time--for some reason, I just never have. I had to make a trip to Beaumont on Thursday, so I downloaded the audio and listened to it on the ride home. Wow. I know I say that word a lot in my reviews...but seriously....WOW. It is not at all what I expected, and it totally raised my opinion of the kids who rave about it. I have to be honest and say I expected there to be foul language, sex, drugs, or some other kind of "hook" that reluctant readers are normally drawn to. It had none of them. What it DOES have, though, is heart. This is a book that achieves the elusive goal of evoking strong emotion in the reader. I would find myself laughing out loud, while feeling intense sadness at the same time.

It's written in the voice of Steven, a sarcastic, incredibly intelligent, angst-filled teenage boy. Steven fills the reader in on all aspects of life his life. His parents are normal enough--for a teacher and an accountant. His little brother Jeffrey has the face of an angel, but in Stevens words, can be quite demonic at times. Sonnenblick's story starts out breezily--his characters are funny and believeable, and he is hilarious.

The story takes a sharp, unexpected turn early on, though--when a fall in the kitchen results in a bloody nose for Jeffrey. What starts out as a childhood mishap leads to a diagnosis of cancer for Jeffrey--and thus begins the journey that is this book.

I will not give away details--but this is a definite must read for teenage boys--it grabs the reader from the start, and the characters come alive immediately. I am sorry I took so long to read...err....listen to this one, but am so gald I finally did!


  1. this really was a great book

  2. Wow, thanks for the kudos! I hope you and your students enjoy the sequel, AFTER EVER AFTER, just as much.

    Take care -

    Jordan Sonnenblick

  3. It's so important to draw attention to reading, and attract reluctant readers to it, especially boys. In fact, I've recently completed a feature magazine article on this subject that came out in October, "Help for Struggling, Reluctant Readers."

    I grew up as a reluctant reader, in spite of the fact that my father published over 70 books. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for tween boys, that avid boy readers and girls enjoy just as much.

    My blog, Books for Boys is dedicated to drawing attention to the importance of reading. And my new book, Lost Island Smugglers - first in the Sam Cooper Adventure Series - is coming out in July-August. Contracts are also signed for Captain Jack's Treasure and River Rampage.

    Keep up your good work.

    Max Elliot Anderson
    PS. My first 7 books are going to be republished by Comfort Publishing later in 2010

  4. I love the book. Im going to ask my teacber to get the sequalthanks cor recommending it to me