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Gold Star Award Winner!

"The most annoying thing in the world is...My little brother, Jeffrey." That's what thirteen-year-old Steven Alper had written in his journal for his English class. But on October 7th, everything changed. Jeffrey had a small accident in the kitchen, was taken to the emergency room, and was diagnosed with leukemia.

Steven's life turns upside down, and just when he needs his parents the most, his mom has to spend most of her days at the hospital taking care of his brother, and his dad is mostly keeping to himself, too worried about the bills to spend time with or even talk to his oldest son. Steven wants to believe that everything will just go back to normal, and tries to release his anger, anxiety, and fears by playing the drums. But his brother doesn't seem to be getting any better, and Steven has a hard time concentrating at school, he's not turning in his homework, and his grades are starting to fall behind. To make things worse, he doesn't want anyone to find out what is going on--but somehow his best friend, Annette, the school counselor, and even Renee Albert, the hottest girl in the eighth grade, all seem to know that something is not right.

This unforgettable novel took me on an incredibly moving ride. And when I felt I was all the way down on this emotional roller coaster, and found myself struggling to see the words through my tears, Sonnenblick lifted me up gently, word by word, page by page, and put a grin on my face that eventually turned into a big smile and then an out-loud laugh. The author's great voice shows real characters with real feelings, and the true struggle of a teenager trying to understand the unfairness of a deadly disease, and how to cope with the fear of losing his beloved little brother.

So you think your little brother is a pest? You will think again after reading this touching story.

Tissues are highly recommended.

The paperback edition of DRUMS, GIRLS, & DANGEROUS PIE also includes a section with an interview, information about the author, tips on writing, and a preview of Jordan Sonnenblick's next novel, NOTES FROM THE MIDNIGHT DRIVER.

Reviewed by: Christian C.
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