87 pages 2 hours read

Jordan Sonnenblick

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2004

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Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

  • Genre: Fiction; Middle Grade; Realistic Fiction
  • Originally Published: 2004
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 940L; grades 5-8
  • Structure/Length: 23 chapters; approximately 304 pages; approximately 4 hours and 31 minutes on audiobook
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: Eighth-grader Steven Alper, a talented drummer who has a crush on the hottest girl in school, must navigate the challenges of middle school while coming to terms with his little brother's leukemia diagnosis.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Childhood cancer; hospital scenes; emotional distress; sibling conflict

Jordan Sonnenblick, Author

  • Bio: Born 1969; American author of young adult fiction; former middle school English teacher; known for his realistic and often humorous portrayals of adolescence; addresses complex themes of family, illness, and personal growth in his work.
  • Other Works: Notes from the Midnight Driver (2006); After Ever After (2010); Zen and the Art of Faking It (2007); The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade (2017)
  • Awards: Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award (2009); Grand Canyon Reader Award (2009); Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award (2008); Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award (2008); Isinglass Teen Read Award (2008); Black-Eyed Susan Award (2007)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Resilience in the Face of Adversity
  • The Importance of Family
  • Coming of Age

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will: