87 pages 2 hours read

Jordan Sonnenblick

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2004

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Reading Context

Use these questions or activities to help gauge students’ familiarity with and spark their interest in the context of the work, giving them an entry point into the text itself.

Short Answer

1. Consider the ways in which an unexpected illness could affect a family. What challenges might family members face after a serious diagnosis? What changes would they need to make? What might the family feel compelled or required to do in response?

Teaching Suggestion: This question orients students with the central conflict in the plot: the onset of a serious illness of a close family member. Prior to Jeffrey’s illness, Steven is navigating teenage life in suburban America, while his parents are both working steady jobs to provide for the family; however, with the diagnosis, the family is now faced with medical bills and the possibility of Jeffrey’s death. In spite of these obstacles, Steven and his family ultimately exhibit Resilience in the Face of Adversity, particularly as they focus on The Importance of Family as they make sacrifices for Jeffrey. With sensitivity in mind for individual circumstances, you might ask students to reflect and respond independently in reading journals, as some students may have a personal connection.

  • This article from National Jewish Health explores the impact of chronic illness on families.