After Ever After

After Ever After

4.4 63
by Jordan Sonnenblick
     
 

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An amazing sequel to the groundbreaking debut, DRUMS, GIRLS & DANGEROUS PIE.

Jeffrey isn't a little boy with cancer anymore. He's a teen who's in remission, but life still feels fragile. The aftereffects of treatment have left Jeffrey with an inability to be a great student or to walk without limping. His parents still worry about him. His older brother, Steven,

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Overview


An amazing sequel to the groundbreaking debut, DRUMS, GIRLS & DANGEROUS PIE.

Jeffrey isn't a little boy with cancer anymore. He's a teen who's in remission, but life still feels fragile. The aftereffects of treatment have left Jeffrey with an inability to be a great student or to walk without limping. His parents still worry about him. His older brother, Steven, lost it and took off to Africa to be in a drumming circle and "find himself." Jeffrey has a little soul searching to do, too, which begins with his escalating anger at Steven, an old friend who is keeping something secret, and a girl who is way out of his league but who thinks he's cute.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jeffrey Alper, now in eighth grade, narrates this intense sequel to Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie. He is cancer-free now, but leukemia treatment left Jeffrey with a limp and a brain that is “a little scrambled up.” When he learns he will be held back unless he passes a statewide standardized test, Jeffrey panics, then agrees to let Tad, his best friend and fellow cancer survivor, tutor him. But Jeffrey fails the practice test and is dealing with other stresses: his older brother—always his biggest supporter—is unreachable in Africa, his girlfriend won't see him until after the test, and Tad is suddenly missing a lot of school. Jeffrey's honest, humorous narration acts as a counterbalance to the subject matter (when Tad asks if he ever dreamed of doing “something completely magnificent,” Jeffrey answers, “Dude, mostly I just hope I won't forget to zip my pants in the morning”). Even so, this book is packed with emotional highs and lows, and readers will understand the toll cancer takes on victims and everyone around them—even after it is gone. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)
VOYA - Ed Goldberg
Jeffrey is a short, chubby leukemia survivor with a limp who has trouble processing information as a result of the medication he has taken. Tad is wheelchair bound, insolent, and a survivor of multiple brain surgeries. These friends make quite the pair in this story of their eighth grade year, narrated both comically and poignantly by Jeffrey. It starts when he meets gorgeous Lindsay, a California transplant. They immediately take to each other, much to Jeffrey's surprise, and become boyfriend/girlfriend. Jeffrey, arriving home after his first day at school, finds a letter addressed to his parents stating that New Jersey has made passing standardized tests in math, science, and English mandatory for graduation. Jeffrey's processing difficulties make it virtually impossible, so he throws the letter down the garbage disposal—no need for his parents to know. He and Tad come up with a plan: Tad will tutor him in math, and Jeffrey will force Tad to exercise so he can walk on stage for graduation. Sonnenblick is informative yet funny as he deftly describes Jeffrey's and Tad's illnesses. Some of their escapades are laugh-out-loud funny. He finds humor in Jeffrey's wandering mind, a side effect of his medication but a trait typical of many healthy teens. Flash McGrath, gym teacher-turned-math tutor, is hysterical. Sonnenblick is also serious when he discusses the emotional and financial impact of Jeffrey's leukemia on his family. The toll of their illnesses on the boys is heavy and shapes their view of life. The ending is very realistic in this worthy read for all. Reviewer: Ed Goldberg
Kirkus Reviews
In this companion novel to Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie (2005), Steven's little brother Jeffrey, now in eighth grade and in full remission from leukemia, discovers that happily ever after isn't quite what he expected. First of all, his hero big brother abandons him to take a year off from college to play drums in Africa. Then he finds out that to get into high school, he'll have to pass a statewide standardized test in math, his worst subject. Finally, he is stricken by the news that his best friend Tad, also a cancer survivor, is back in treatment. The only bright spot is that cute new girl Lindsey is showing an interest in him. Now if he could just figure out how to talk to her! Told with Sonnenblick's trademark self-deprecating humor, this stand-alone tween narrative slots neatly into the space between the author's YA and J titles, sensitively dealing with issues of family, friendship and death in a way that will appeal to middle-grade students. Recommended for fans and new readers alike. (Fiction. 10-13)
From the Publisher

Praise for After Ever After

A 2011 Schneider Family Book Award Winner

[star] “A solid stand-alone novel that will leave an emotional, uplifting imprint on readers.”–School Library Journal, starred review

“Will win over hearts.”–Voice of Youth Advocates

Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
Tad and Jeffrey met in fourth grade when Tad transferred to Jeffrey’s school. Like most kids, the boys checked each other out to see what interests they might have in common, or if there was friend potential present. Jeffrey noted the sour attitude of the new boy and the fact that he was bald. Jeffrey concluded that Tad was angry at the world and that, based on the baldness and the big red scar on his head, Tad was a cancer survivor. For most kids, that would not be a common thread but for Jeffrey, who was also a cancer survivor, it made them best friends. Tad and Jeffrey have come away from their cancer treatments with side effects that will take time to overcome, if they ever can. For Tad, it means life in a wheelchair, unable to stand or walk on his own. For Jeffrey, it means learning disabilities that cause him to grasp new concepts a little slower than he would have before. The boys help each other to overcome these limitations and better fit in with the general population. Entering the eighth grade, the district introduces a new policy stating that every eighth grade student must pass a standardized test to enter high school. Jeffrey panics, hides the letter from his parents, and seeks the help of Tad. Tad’s greatest wish is to do something large and noteworthy, so Jeffrey agrees to help him walk across the stage for his diploma. In exchange, Tad will help Jeffrey to pass the test. In the process, their friendship will encounter many obstacles that will strengthen their bond. The reader will see how strong friendships develop, what it is like to survive cancer and how to relate to those who have and or survive such illnesses. The lessons taught here are easily transferrable to other unfamiliar situations in middle school, teaching tolerance, compassion, and perseverance. Students will want to read the first in this series, Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie, to find out where the story of these characters began. This is a recommended title for review or discussion in social sciences classes as well as language arts classes. Reviewer: Joyce Rice; Ages 8 to 12.
Children's Literature - Jennifer Lehmann
Jeffrey had not had a real friend until Tad joined his class in fourth grade. The other kids had felt more comfortable with him when they were making him the town cause: The Boy Who Had Cancer. But Tad understood; he was a survivor, too. Now that they are in eighth grade, their cancers have left them with different struggles. Jeffrey has a limp and problems with concentration and math. Tad is in a wheelchair and has developed an abrasive personality. The two join forces to face their eighth grade year and tackle each other's weaknesses. Jeffrey needs all the help he can get; his brother has abandoned him to run off to Africa and play the drums, the state is requiring him to pass the standardized tests before he can move on to high school, and the gorgeous new girl seems to be interested in him. While Jeffrey has challenges beyond those of the average child, his struggles are real and easy to identify with. Jeffrey's narration is genuine and endearing, with a strong voice and a catching sense of humor. His relationship with Lindsey is sweet, funny, and smart. His friendship with Tad is enduring, and readers will stand up and cheer for the lengths that the two go to for each other. Reviewer: Jennifer Lehmann

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439837088
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/2011
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
11 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Jordan Sonnenblick is the author of the acclaimed teen novels Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, Notes from the Midnight Driver, and Zen and the Art of Faking it. In addition to being a writer, he’s a middle-school English teacher and would never penalize one of his students for bringing an imaginary friend to school. Jordan lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with his wife and their two children. If he’s ever had an imaginary friend, he’s not telling! You can visit him on the Web at www.jordansonnenblick.com.

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