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After Ever After

After Ever After

4.5 63
by Jordan Sonnenblick

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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 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

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.
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 - 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

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Jordan Sonnenblick is the author of the acclaimed DRUMS, GIRLS, & DANGEROUS PIE, NOTES FROM THE MIDNIGHT DRIVER, ZEN AND THE ART OF FAKING IT, and the sequel to DRUMS called AFTER EVER AFTER. He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two children.

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After Ever After 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Teachtown More than 1 year ago
"But most of my earliest memories are of spinal taps, throwing up for two hours straight on my birthday, watching my own hair fall out while my friends were worried about learning how to write their names in crayon. And I guess Steven has lot of those shocks, too, through being my brother. But that's still not the same as being me." Calling all teachers, parents and educators: Jordan Sonnenblick might just be the most important young adult author on the market! This man has found a niche that millions of teenagers have been desperately waiting to be filled. In a delicate way that blends good humor with tough reality, his books address critical issues related to family, friendship, school, life and death. Sonnenblick obviously understands what kids are going through and knows how to help them feel more comfortable with their daily challenges and goals through wholesome literature. I wish more authors would write with such purpose and passion to spread meaningful messages to young readers. In "Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie," Jeffrey was fighting cancer as his older brother, then 8th-grader Steven, threw his whole life into providing the necessary support for his sick brother. Now, in this sequel to "Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie," Jeffrey is in remission. In the aftermath of his sickness, a lot has changed besides his health status. Jeffrey's older brother has gone on hiatus to Africa to escape the responsibilities that he couldn't avoid when he was playing second fiddle to his Jeffrey's cancer battle. Their parents continue to worry about finances and state testing requirements following the imposing learning disabilities cancer treatments and medications have handed their young son. Jeffrey's best friend, Tad, also has his share of challenges to worry about. Together, they face the mystic challenges of deciphering the baffling words and actions of girls, setting seemingly unreachable goals, and clearing up the cloudy meaning of life. This book hit home for me in many ways. One example is that it reminded me of my 10th grade year, when my older brother - my best friend, idol and mentor throughout my grade school years - joined the Marine Corps and moved overseas to Japan. This person I'd counted on for so long was suddenly nowhere to be found. I remember how hard it was for me to deal with the void he'd left behind. I'm sure a lot of people can relate to similar feelings of loss and abandonment. "I wish I could remember now what I was thinking during those next two hours, because they were the last good hours I was going to have for a long time. But nobody ever tells you in advance when you should concentrate on the good times - that's why you're supposed to try to do it every day." Be sure to read "After Ever After" sooner rather than later! Books don't get much better than this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Need to read love jordan sonnenblick!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Very moving. Enjoyed as much as drums girls and dangerous pie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't stop reading this book! I'm forcing myself to go to bed right now at 12:00am so I can wake up for school tomorrow!
Andy_Nguyen More than 1 year ago
After Ever After is about what happens after Jeffery  is cancer-free.  While recovering from cancer, Jeff struggles in school.  Jeff is failing math and if he doesn't pass his test at the end of the year, he will have to redo 8th grade. Throughout the story, he meets a pretty girl named Lindsay who is a new student from California.  In order to pass his math class, Jeff is tutored by his PE teacher and his best friend Tad, who also is a cancer survivor.  Will Jeffery be able to pass his test?  Read the book After Ever After to find out.  I liked the book because it was a fast pace book and it's easy to read.  My final rating for this book is four stars.T
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is worth a read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THe most saddest ending ever !!! IM happy for jeff but tad.... hes my favorute chraacter ever i just love him!! Ahmazing book evrr
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book it was sooo good. You really need to read tgis if you read Drums Girls and Dangerous Pie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When Jeffrey talking about Tad being dead and everything, I didn't even realize I was crying until the pages were splattered with tear-drops. Poor D.A.... The first book was good too, but this one had me up until 12:47 a.m.
SpartanReading More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved the book, Ever After Ever by Jordan Sonnenblick. This book is a sequel to another really good book Drums Girls & Dangerous Pie. In Drums Girls & Dangerous Pie, Jeffery is a kindergardener who has leukemia. In After Ever After, Jeffery is an eighth grader, who is in remission. His best friend Tad, is also another cancer survivor, and still in remission. This book will make you cheer for Jeff and Tad but it might also make you cry for them! Tad is a very tough and good friend to Jeffery. When Jeffery wan't doing so well in math, Tad tutored him. Tad is a good friend also because even though he had issues with his personal help, he didn't want to tell Jeff what happened because he was worried it would distract him from doing good on the math standardized test scores. Not only will Jeff have to lose something in this book he also has to go through drama of everyday life, girlfriends, tests, homework, his brother and even his parents! To anyone who like romance & everyday life books would love After Ever After! I defiantly didn't have to think twice about giving this book 5 stars!! If you start this book you might never be able to put it down!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love love love this book!!!!! This is a wonderful, tragic and moving book and series if you want to call it that. Jourdan sonnenblick got it once again. Love the author!!!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
AFTER EVER AFTER by Jordan Sonnenblick is the sequel to DRUMS, GIRLS, & DANGEROUS PIE. It is eight years later and life is continuing for the Alper family. Jeffrey is ironically starting the eighth grade. That's the grade his older brother, Steven, was in when Jeffrey was diagnosed with leukemia. Jeffrey is now in remission from the disease, but he suffers from some side effects from the chemo treatment that saved his life. He walks with a limp, his attention wanders easily, and his brain just refuses to process anything related to math. Not a big deal, you say. Well, if your father is an accountant and the mailman has just delivered a letter saying that every eighth grader in the state must pass a set of required tests, including a math test, or repeat the eighth grade, let's just say things have looked rosier. A lot of other things have changed for Jeffrey, as well. His brother graduated from high school and went off to college. Again, not a big deal, but then Steven decided after three years of college that he would drop everything and head to Africa to become part of a drum circle. That left Jeffrey on his own to deal with his last year of middle school. Fortunately, back in fourth grade, Jeffrey found his best friend, Tad. Tad was also a cancer survivor. In fact, Tad had survived the disease twice. It left him weak enough to need a wheelchair, but it certainly strengthened his wit and wisdom when it came to dealing with daily life. When Tad learns about the state testing requirement, he steps up to help Jeffrey by becoming his official math tutor. The two make a deal that Jeffrey will study hard to pass the test, and Tad will train hard so he is able to walk across the eighth grade graduation stage under his own power. Jordan Sonnenblick continues Jeffrey's story in his signature style using an authentic teenage voice and laugh-out-loud humor. By asking his main character to adjust to a learning disability and a physical handicap, as well as changes in his family structure, Sonnenblick creates a new depth to the sequel. The determination he showed as a young boy dealing with cancer helps him with the struggle to be successful at school and also at any new challenges thrown his way. This is a sequel I was not expecting, but I was thrilled when it came to my attention.
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down! Personally, I thought this book was even better than Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie (which I LOVED), probably because you come to care about Jeffrey (Steven's little brother who has cancer) in Book #1 and instead of making this book about Steven again, we get to learn about Jeffrey and what it is like to be him. The story takes place when Jeffrey is at the same age Steven was at in the first book (8 years have passed since Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie). Mr. Sonnenblick writes this book as realistically as the first, and I loved all the characters. As a middle grade kid myself, I feel like I connect with Jeffrey - the readers gets to know him that well. I think that Mr. Sonnenblick is a great author who portrays the mind of a teenager very well. Like in the first book, Mr. Sonneblick uses humor to diffuse some really tense issues in the story. I love his writing style! *NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is kinda sad in a good way
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful. Jordan is halarious. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sonnonblick is a wonderful author. This book is an amazing read. I couldnt put this book down. A must read for anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so touching and inspiring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont tell me anything!!!!!!!!!!!! Im going to get from library tom. And read it so shout up big mouths!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Greats book but very sad and moving
Anonymous 4 months ago
I could not put this book down! It's that good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I' ve only got the sample but as far as i' ve got its super! Its also on my wishlist!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story was read by one of great friends who has been battling cancer 5 know and he says that this story is almost exactly what he went through as a teen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cried and cried when jeff was talking to tads grave. :*(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago