Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie


Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie           Turning Tide Press © 2004
Jordan Sonnenblick                                            182 pages

Summary: Thirteen-year-old Steven Alphers has become accustomed to a totally normal life. He plays drums in the All-City Jazz Band and takes drumming lessons every Saturday. Like other boys in school, he has a crush on the hottest girl in school, Renee Albert. He is also constantly annoyed with his younger brother Jeffrey. But when Jeffrey gets very sick, Steven's world changes completely. He struggles with the acceptance of the changes, and he relies on Ms. Galley, the guidance counselor, to remind him of his goal, "Don't worry about the things you can't change, change what you can."

Character Description:

Steven Alphers is a 13-year-old drummer who struggles with the change of events when his younger brother becomes very ill.

Jeffrey Alphers is Steven's younger brother. He is constantly annoying Steven, until the day he becomes very sick and spends weeks in the hospital.

Personal Reflection: This novel by Jordan Sonnenblick showcases the importance of service-learning in the classroom. Throughout the story, readers will ride a rollercoaster of events while the Alphers continue to take Jeffrey to the hospital in Philadelphia, an hour and a half away from home.

     Realistic Fiction

     Disease and Illness
     Feelings and Emotions

Related Work:
     After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

Discussion Questions:

1. Why does Steven decide not to tell his teachers and friends at school about Jeffrey's illness?

2. How is each character's life been changed because of Jeffrey's illness?

3. If you were in this situation, what things might you do differently? Explain.