Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie

Thoughts  by Jordan Sonnenblick, Brilliance Audio 2011 (orig 2004), 4 hours 31 minutes

Narrated by Joel Johnstone – great job!

Genre: YA/Middle School Fiction
Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible
 Why I read this now: It was short.

MOTIVATION for READING: I don’t often remember by motivations, I sometimes just read things, buy books, let the mood and whim drive me. That said, I do know that I bought this purely because it had PIE in the title. Audible sent me an email specifically targeting my pie obsession and I didn’t think twice. Probably didn’t think once.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: When I hit play on my phone to start this audiobook, I didn’t have one clue what it was about. I didn’t know it was kid lit. I only expected drums, girls and pie. Sure, I suppose I could have guessed that a book with this title could be about a teen boy who plays the drums and chases girl. Shrug. I didn’t really think about it at all. I just hit PLAY.

And what I found out was that Steven is in a middle school jazz band and he is a very good drummer. He is infatuated with the prettiest girl in class and has a girl best friend that he really doesn’t treat very well. We (yes, I just switched to the plural all of us, ‘we’) learn that Steven has an annoying little kid brother named Jeffrey, age 5,  who — of course — knows just how to annoy his big brother, whom he idolizes, of course.

Then we find out that Jeffrey has leukemia.

WHAT’s GOOD: Kick in the gut good. Heartfelt and compassionate. And it’s FUNNY! Yes, there is humor.

What’s NOT so good: As a teacher, I found myself getting very emotional to those suggestive thoughts that we never quite know how to help our students and don’t often know what hard things they are dealing with. This hit close to home for me. I feel like I didn’t do enough for my students this year and I also don’t know what I could have done but there is always ‘never enough’. This isn’t a complaint or criticism of the book but I actually wish I had listened to it before May. I don’t have time to fix any of the never enough cases I want to attempt to help with. Prayers will have to do at this point in the school year.

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you are a middle school teacher or any teacher who appreciates a funny and loving book that has teacher-student interactions, I recommend.

As a goodreads friend reviewed, “Very very sweet. And it’s even a cancer book.

RATING: Four slices of apple pie. (The dangerous pie isn’t edible.)

“… and what of the classic apple pie?”

 

 

pierating

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14 thoughts on “Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie

  1. Audible knows you pretty well! I’m glad that you actually liked the book too even though it is a tough subject matter. As a mother of teens, I always hope and wonder and wish that I could do more to help them. I also think that their teachers see more of my kids too, so I feel your pain. I think it comes down to the fact we just never know what is going on in someone’s life added to the fact that teens are so unwilling to share anything. We instinctively know they need help but don’t know how to help without knowing the problem. It is what makes the teen years so tough, I am finding. Well, among other things.

    1. Bookish whimsy! I must have a little whimsy now and then when I get feeling overwhelmed. I just chuck it all and grab a quick unknown and see what happens. Come to find out this one has won a bunch of awards, too.

  2. Care,
    It’s so nice to be back and to see that you’re still here whipping up pies and book reviews! I absolutely hear you about school and working with kids. It certainly does feel like ‘never enough’ most of the time. This book sounds like a good one, especially for a summer reading list in the middle grades!
    Have a great week.
    Nat

    1. I relish any questions you may ask. I had to know what the Dangerous Pie was and I just knew others might, too. Hope it wasn’t a spoiler.

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