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After Ever After Hardcover – February 1, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 6–9—Sonnenblick's Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie (Turning Tide, 2004) told the story of eighth-grader Steven Alper and his struggle to deal with his four-year-old brother's leukemia diagnosis amid the normal drama of being a teen. This sequel is told from Jeffrey's point of view. Now Jeff is in eighth grade and just as he's getting his first girlfriend, wondering why his best friend and fellow cancer survivor is acting so weird, and trying to cope with some post-cancer disabilities, Steven, his rock, has dropped out of college and gone to join a drumming circle—in Africa! In a year of emotional and physical challenges, heartache, humor, and love, Jeffrey learns to depend on himself and live life to the fullest. Sonnenblick's intimate first-person tale of survival is a solid stand-alone novel that will leave an emotional, uplifting imprint on readers.—Terri Clark, Smoky Hill Library, Centennial, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Sonnenblick’s Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie (2005) told the story of eighth-grader Steven Alper, whose five-year-old brother, Jeffrey, is diagnosed with leukemia. Here, Jeffrey is in the eighth grade himself and takes the limelight. His cancer has gone into remission, but that’s not the end of it. “Treatment is nothing compared to what happens after you’ve been ‘cured.’ . . . Being a cancer survivor can be a life sentence all its own.” Jeffrey, as well as his best friend, fellow survivor, and devilishly dark humorist, Tad, have all kinds of brain and nerve damage from the intense chemotherapy and radiation, leaving Tad in a wheelchair and Jeffrey with serious concentration problems. But he mostly sweats the smaller stuff: fear of being held back a grade if he fails an impending standardized test; a brother who seems to have abandoned him at the worst possible time; strife at home that he sees as his fault; and, most terrifying, a cute girl who actually likes him. Switching gears back and forth between huge, heavy issues and universal adolescent concerns, Sonnenblick imbues Jeffrey with a smooth, likable, and unaffected voice. Most of all, he recognizes that humor and heart aren’t ways to lighten a story—they’re there to deliver it. As hilarious as it is tragic, and as honest as it is hopeful, don’t confuse this book with inspirational reading. It’s irresistible reading. Grades 5-8. --Ian Chipman
Top customer reviews
This book is written in a similar fashion to its predecessor. Both take you inside the mind
This book is written in a similar fashion to its predecessor. Both take you inside the minds of young adults as they try to cope with everything from daily routines to the love of their lives and the questions that come with life itself. The author does a superb job of relating to the middle school student and this is evident with each new 8th grade class. The moment I start the audio and they begin reading along, it only takes a page or two for every class, advanced or on level, to become transfixed in this fictional world.
Jeff and Tad are the best friend they had cancer and they both survived they don't have a good body like other kids and tad rides wheelchair. Lindsey loves to New Jersy and comes to their school Jeff falls in love with Lindsey right away. Lindsey thinks Jeff is cute and they become good friends Tad tries to get Lindsey and Jeff to be a girl friend and boy friend. Jeff likes to ride a bike but, Tad cannot even walk well and Jeff sucks at math before he had cancer he had all of the facts in his head and then after he went through cancer he sucked at math. They make promise that if Jeff passes the state taste that leads them to high school Tad will walk on the stage at graduation. Tad starts coming to Jeff's house to tutor him meanwhile Jeff and Lindsey gets closer and three of the become best buddy. Then Lindsey became Jeffs girlfriend then Tad tells Jeff that he is going to the hospital at graduation day and Jeff gets mad and yells at Tad. Few days later Jeff got a fever and went to the hospital when he comes back he feels like something that he doesn't know is happening. At the test day, everyone starts looking at him and Tad when the test starts Tad starts walking out of test room and every 8th grader does the same thing. After the event Jeff finds out that Tad asked every kid to get up and get out of the test room. Jeff plans to make a bikathon for Tad and plans that he will run 50 miles. Tad sends an ipod that has sad songs and then he writes a letter that give the best you got for my cancer treatment. After he runs 50 miles he sees his mom at finish line and see her crying.
After this part why don't you read the book and finds out how the story ends.
Jeffrey is in remission from his cancer, and in 8th grade is now navigating the world of middle school -- juggling the emotions of having a girlfriend who is truly interested in him as a person, an ascerbic best friend who is also a cancer survivor, and his family, particulary an older brother, whom he feels has deserted him to find himself in Africa with a drumming group. On top of all of that, Jeffrey still deals with the long-term effects of the powerful drugs that were part of his cancer treatment.
When I first read the back cover, I thought, "How depressing?" But the book is a blend of humor, sadness, and examples of deep, true friendship. From this I learned the true meaning of beau geste. The characters are believable, and the family dynamics reflect what I imagine it must be like to function on a day-to-day basis with a serious ill child.
I teach middle school, and we are using this book as our One Book, One School novel for this year. I think the students, many who did read Drums, Girls, and Dangerious (both boys and girls) will enjoy this as well