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am 19. April 2011
Rezension 1 (by M.B.):
If you find out that your little brother has cancer, what would you do?
Steven Alper is a normal 13-year-old teenager with the ordinary problems. He fell in love with the most beautiful girl from school but she doesn't recognize him, he's the youngest member and the drummer of the All-City High School Jazz Band an the other musicians don't really take him serious, his best friend Annette is a bit crazy and sometimes it's difficult to stay with her.
And there is his little brother Jeffrey who really annoys him with his little blond ringlets and his sweet smile.
But then the family finds out that Jeffrey has cancer ' leukemia and suddenly Steven's life changes.
His mother goes with Jeffrey to a special hospital in Philadelphia a few times a month, his father works as hard as he can to save the family from debts, because Jeffrey's treatment costs much.
First Steven can't deal with the whole situation but then he understands how much he really loves his brother and he decides to protect him in every case.
Different people help him on his way: Annette, who organizes a benefit concert of the All-City Jazz Band for Jeffrey; Samantha, a girl Steven meets at the hospital in Philadelphia, who shows him, that having al little brother is a wonderful thing and Jeffrey himself, who still takes everything with a smile and who loves Steven more than every other person in the world.

Jordan Sonnenblick wrote with 'Drums, girls and dangerous pie' a funny, sad and a tragic novel about the serious theme 'cancer'.
With his main character Steven he has created a wonderful hero, who talks to the reader in a sarcastic voice, makes him smile and (in my case) cry.
Steven's actions for example that he shaves his head until he's bald like his little brother shows us that you can change things in every situation and that you needn't give up.
I think this thought is the most wonderful thing in the book.
I also liked the language and the characters, all is very lively and the story really touched me.
And then there is one scene in the end, the most important, I think, where I couldn't stop my tears:

'I used to think that having a brother was the worst thing in the world. But now I know that not having him would be worse.' (p. 273)

I recommend this book to everyone, because the theme is interesting and important, so adults can read it, too.
Teenagers with little brothers and sisters have to read it.

Rezension 2 (by B.K.):
Do you have a little brother or sister? And does he or she get on your nerves?
Steven Alper, the main character of the book 'Drums, girls and dangerous pie' by Jordan Sonnenblick has this problem. He is a normal 13-year-old boy from America and he thinks that his little brother Jeffrey is the most annoying thing in the world. Playing the drums in All-City Jazz Band is very important for him, also because Renee Albert, the hottest girl in school, could be impressed by a drum solo of Steven. And there is Annette, his best friend, who shares his passion for music and who always notices when something's wrong with him.
Jeffrey is five years old and the relationship to Steven isn't very good. One day, Jeffrey has to be brought to hospital because of a strong nosebleed and it comes out that he has leukemia. First, Steven doesn't want to believe it and tries to keep it out of his head. He takes his mind off the illness by concentrating on a drum solo for All-City Jazz Band. He even doesn't tell his friends.
Jeffrey has to be taken to Philadelphia for treatment very often and it gets very expensive for the Alper family. They can't pay the cost for drum lessons, but Steven's teacher wants to help him and so he gets them for free.
At the beginning of Jeffrey's illness, Steven stopped doing anything for school, and now he has to tell the teachers that his brother has leukemia. As a result, he gets a lot of extra homework. But from now on, he cares about school again and as Renee gets to know about the illness from Steven's mother, the All-City Jazz Band wants to have a benefit concert for Jeffrey's treatment.
Steven has also to deal with a nearly-broken family. His life changed completely when Jeffrey got ill. Will they manage to keep Jeffrey alive? Read the book, and you'll find out!

I liked the style of writing. Steven's language is ironic and often funny but nevertheless, the book deals with leukemia very seriously. The ending is a bit too happy for being real, but on the whole, I would recommend it to young readers from 12 to 16 years.
Parents, you can read this book, too, it may help you! ;)

Rezension 3 (by V.W.):
"Your brother is a very, very sick boy." - this fact changes the life of Steven Alper. Steven is totally the thirteen-year-old average boy, confronted with problems a totally average thirteen-year-old boy has. He has a crush on the hottest girl in the eighth grade, Renee Albert, a big passion for playing drums, annoying teachers and finally, a little, sweet brother who really gets on his nerves.
So Steven has got lots of problems but one day he gets to know that his brother Jeffrey had been diagnosed with ALL (acute lyphoblastic leukemia), blood cancer. From now on, Steven's life changes rapidly. His mother has to quit her job to be there for her ill son, his father doesn't know how to cope with the situation at all and Jeffrey is still annoying but badly ill. The family's financial situation becomes worse. Steven feels lonely and overstraight. But his friend Annette, a weird but self-confident girl of his school, supports him and he finds comfort in playing the drums. Steven even gets closer to Renee who seems to be also very concerned about Jeffrey. But he also becomes more and more worried about his ill brother and notices how much he loves Jeffrey. In the end the band in which Steven takes part, the All-City High School Jazz Band, makes its concert a benefit for his family. It's a huge success and Steven feels thankful for the band, his friends and his brother.
All in all, the book made a good impression on me. Even though Steven is much younger than I am, I can understand and feel with him. His development during Jeffrey's illness is admirable and heartwarming. I have a little sister as well and if she had been diagnosed with leukemia I think I would have reacted in the same way. I didn't like about the book that Steven's sarcasm is sometimes exaggerated.
I recommend this book to everyone who is looking for an enjoyable but profound novel.
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am 25. Februar 2011
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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