87 pages 2 hours read

Jordan Sonnenblick

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2004

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Discussion/Analysis Prompt

Each main character in the novel reacts differently to the emotional, physical, and financial challenges that occur. Consider the events in the story, then reflect on how these characters change and grow. What does resilience mean for each of the main characters? How are they able to maintain Resilience in the Face of Adversity?

Teaching Suggestion: This Discussion/Analysis Prompt invites students to make connections between their Personal Connection Prompt and the story’s characters. Each character processes Jeffrey’s diagnosis in their own way: the father withholds emotions, stops speaking, and focuses on his work; the mother quits her job and devotes her time to taking care of Jeffrey; and Steven begins to withdraw and neglect his schoolwork. Even Jeffrey learns important coping mechanisms, such as communicating his thoughts about the pain of some of the procedures, as well as finding the strength to go to the hospital without his Matt Medic toy. For large classes, consider dividing the class into four groups; each group might discuss the character arc of one of the main characters and analyze how that character shows resilience when faced with each main event in the story. Groups could present to the rest of the class or elect a leader to summarize their findings.