Title: Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie
Author: Jordan Sonnenblick
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Summary: From first-time novelist Jordan Sonnenblick, a brave and beautiful story that will make readers laugh and break their hearts at the same time.
Thirteen-year-old Steven has a totally normal life: he plays drums in the All-Star Jazz band, has a crush on the hottest girl in the school, and is constantly annoyed by his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey. But when Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia, Steven's world is turned upside down. He is forced to deal with his brother's illness and his parents' attempts to keep the family in one piece. Salted with humor and peppered with devastating realities, DRUMS, GIRLS, AND DANGEROUS PIE is a heartwarming journey through a year in the life of a family in crisis.
My Thoughts: This book is amazing!! I read it with my 6th grade class during my first year teaching. It goes into some serious stuff, but it maintains its wit and comicality, so despite the heavy topics, it's still an enjoyable read. All of my students were really into the book, completely engrossed in the audio read aloud while following along with their own paper copy - I tell you, it's an amazing thing to see 20 sixth grade students turn book pages in unison like that, with everyone so caught up in the storyline.
I'm not usually into audio books, but this book's audio version is fantastic. The narrator is great! He changes up his voice well for all the different characters, and he pulls off the 13-year-old's sense of humor perfectly!
I'm very thankful for the humorous tone in this book - stories with this kind of topic can really take their toll on me, but Steven's mildly sardonic tone kept it light enough for me so that I wasn't too overwhelmed. It was very interesting reading some of his thoughts on the common reactions people have when they find out someone has cancer, and how those reactions are usually the opposite of what the people going through such an awful situation really want or need to hear.
A lot of good discussions can come out of this book . . .
I highly recommend this one!!