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Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie

(Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie #1)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  28,336 ratings  ·  3,526 reviews
From first-time novelist, Jordan Sonnenblick, a brave and beautiful story that will make readers laugh and break their hearts at the same time.

Thirteen-year-old Steven has a totally normal life; he plays drums in the All-Star Jazz band, has a crush on the hottest girl in the school, and is constantly annoyed by his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey. But when Jeffrey is diagno
Paperback, 273 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published September 1st 2005)
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Samantha This book is so worth reading about b/c it is really awsome and sad.

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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  28,336 ratings  ·  3,526 reviews

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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
glad i finally picked this one up! it was really touching. i do think i prefer the sequel that i accidentally read before reading this book. XD there were just a few lines that bothered me and i had a hard time liking the main character (though he won me over in the end). and let me just say that the ending of the story had me so emo.
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

The Drums are what 13-year-old Steven plays in the marching band and jazz group in school and are the only thing that makes him feel good when his life starts to unravel.

The Girls are Renee Albert, the hot cheerleader and neighbor who Steven wishes would notice he was alive, and Annette Watson, a pianist and friend of Steven’s who occasionally watches his younger brother Jeffrey on weekends.

Dangerous Pie is (view spoiler)
jv poore
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Inexplicably unique, Steven’s story sucked me in, seeped into my soul and stole my heart. Mr. Sonnenblick aptly captures and conveys the perplexities of a 13-year-old boy---the obvious, an abundant use of “like” in his dialogue, but also the subtle, self-sacrificing inner voice rarely credited to teens. This outwardly awkward adolescent is more than a pounding prodigy on a drum kit and all-around funny guy; he’s an older brother.

Even at a blush, he is kind, tolerant and indulgent with the feisty
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, family, tear-jerker
Little brothers can be pretty annoying. I should know, being a little brother myself. The annoying trait just seemed to come with the territory. Ask lots of questions, be spontaneously obnoxious and sometimes loud (in order to be heard of course), pop-ups in the middle of the elders all-girl slumber party, tattle once in awhile (sorry sis), and ask lots of questions (did I say that already? well, inquiring young minds, ya know?). But the truth behind all those things is that we younger look up t ...more
A wonderful BR with my son and Eilonwy :) I want to thank Bonnie for turning my attention onto this book and also to Eilonwy, who is so patient with such a terrible BRer like me! Hah, even my son read faster than me :D

What a wonderful book it is, we laughed from the jokes, were teary in some moments and of course, we were charmed by the main character. The main reason my son and I loved this book, is that it's about a 13 years old boy, who has life struggle. My son is 13 and it was a fun read f
Rachel Aranda
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, owned
4.5-5 stars

I've had this audiobook since April 30, 2017 and I just now picked it up. I can practically hear some friends booing or shaking their heads at me as I write this sentence. I couldn't tell you why I bought it then didn't read it. I'm assuming it was on sale as I don't usually buy books unless they're affordable then got distracted with university and the mandatory reading that was required. Seriously, why did it take me so long to finally pick this up and read this book!? It's been aro
Bonnie Shores
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-school
Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie is the poignant tale of Steven, a funny, drum-playing 8th grader who suddenly finds himself having to deal (or not) with the life-changing news that his 5-year-old brother, Jeffrey, has leukemia.

It is rare for me to love sad stories. But this one, perhaps because it is written from the POV of a snarky, self-centered 13-year-old boy, had me laughing and smiling throughout, sometimes even smiling while tears were running down my cheeks.

DG&DP is truly heartwarming as we
13-year-old Steve Alpers is obsessed with drums: he’s good enough to play with the All-City Middle and High School Band; girls: mainly his best friend, Annette, and “the hottest girl in eighth grade,” Renee; and his annoying 5-year-old little brother, Jeffrey, who is always underfoot and makes messes like the title pie. But Steve has to add another preoccupation when Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia, and his family’s lives are upended by hospital visits, no time for grocery shopping, huge medi
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Christian C. for TeensReadToo.com

"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
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this book, it is a really interesting book and it's hard not to read the chapters all at once. At the end there is a big turning point…I'm not going to say what it is because I don't want to spoil the book for everyone else. This book has a lot of important/sad moments, but in my opinion it makes the book x10 better! I can't wait to read after ever after! ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing story of what family truly is - giving up what you want and need for the protection of a sibling. When the main characters little brother is diagnosed with a severe form of leukemia cancer, his older brother has to give up his life, career, and enjoyment to keep his brother not only safe, but happy.
I title this selection "A Brief Conversation Between Me and Steven Alper":

ME: Steven, why does your narrative voice sound like a forty year old trying to sound like a thirteen year old?


ME: And while we're on the subject of voice, your sarcasm is grating and unoriginal.

STEVEN: Well, my brother has Leukemia. The least I can do is talk about myself and my own teenage problems!

ME: I suppose that explains your incessant narcissism. Another question- how do you suddenly become enlightened
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book makes you happy and sad at the same time by making you fall in love with the characters. The book describes the life of an ordinary 13 year old boy that loves drumming and has some relationship problems, but his little brother's cancer flips his life upside down. The theme of the book is love, because in the book, without love from his friends and family, Steven, the main character, wouldn't of survived the whole ordeal with his school work and his little brother's cancer. I recommend ...more
Lauren Ellerbusch
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A.J. Pine
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*Cross posted on AmyLovesYA.com

Let me start by saying that this is the first Jordan Sonnenblick book I've read, It will NOT be the last. In fact, I'm reading another one right now titled After Ever After. Back to the point--I have not read many middle grade novels because I teach high school and figured I should keep with the age range of my students. I was wrong. SO wrong. This book is funny, heart-breaking, and just plain beautiful whether you are ten or thirty...something (like me).

The book
Ariel Acupan
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally Posted HERE.


WARNING: This book should not be read in public because it has a tendency to make you laugh and cry at the same time. It is very addictive to the point that you may not be able to put it down from start to finish.

I love the book and would definitely look for other Sonnenblick books. It is a tearjerker and a funny novel. That is how I would describe it in few words. One minute you're laughing so hard and then with just one phrase or sentence, ,a tear cou
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
A thirteen year old is, by nature and brain chemistry, somewhat self-absorbed. Crushes, schoolwork, embarrassing parents, annoying siblings are all consuming.

This is the story of one selfish thirteen year old kid who is forced to look outside himself by one of the worst circumstances possible, when his little brother is diagnosed with leukemia.

It's a tear jerker, and it has its funny moments.
Julie Carpenter
I really enjoyed this one and can't wait for my older kids to read it. I think this is one all teenage kids should read. I hard a hard time wanting to put it down. I will admit that I kept picking up other books avoiding it because I wasn't quite sure what to think about it. I finally picked it up and thought to myself "Why did I wait to read this one?" This is one of the 16 books for Battle of the Books(BOB) where I live and I try to read what my kids are reading for the competitions. At state ...more
Colleen Houck
This was a great quick read. I love the little brother and the story from the boy's perspective. I now have a strange urge to learn to play the drums. What a cool skill to develop. Still not sure I'd ever get my kid a drum kit. =) ...more
Shreya Chandwadkar
The best narration in an audio book, I have ever listened to.
Narration, according to me, makes or breaks a book.

Voice modulation, and making the characters feel different are key.
And that is exactly what Joel has done with the narration of Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie.

The book directly jumps into the only thing confusing about the title of the book, dangerous pie.
We get an insight into a 13 year old boy: Steven and his younger brother Jeffrey's life.

This book will make you laugh, cry, and I m
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

Family, love, loyalty, Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie! :) I loved it all.
A touching, powerful story about how a family struggles to survive through a crisis and scare together. Humor and such sensitivity bring this story to life. A story and voice that went straight to my heart. Through 13 year old Steven Alper’s voice, readers will see and feel just how much a brother’s love can do and mean.

Three Big Reasons Why My Heart Loved this Book

1. Family LOVE

”Now, normally I am not the biggest f
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Drums,girls and dangerous pie is one of my favorite books I've ever read.This book is hilarious but also upsetting.It's about a 13 year old boy name Steven who loves drumming,has a crush on the hottest girl in school,has a little brother name Jeffery.It all started over a nose bleed when Jeffery was standing on his stool while Steven was making oatmeal he fell off and hit his nose.Then Jeffery is rush to the emergency room.

Hours later his mom called and told Steven's dad that Jeffery might be
Tena Edlin
This book was a solid 4 to me until the author's note at the end. Now, it's a 5. I think this is the first time an author's note has bumped up a book rating for me. DO NOT SKIP THE AUTHOR'S NOTE AT THE END OF THE BOOK. I REPEAT, DO NOT SKIP THE AUTHOR'S NOTE AT THE END OF THE BOOK!!!!!

The book was powerful and funny and full of heart. It made me step in the shoes of the characters, and I love it when that happens. I felt like some of the dialogue was a little cheesy... what the author thought k
Mar 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is an adolescent novel about luekemia, targetted probably to 12-15 year olds. Despite the subject, it's very funny, with lovely banter between the 8th grade boy, who narrates, and his sick five-year-old brother. There were difficult passages describing the treatments the boy received in the hospital and the side effects. The book candidly described the tensions on the family, including an explanation of the financial problems faced by people with insurance. It touched on the undesired atten ...more
Lisa Guzman
Apr 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so impressed by the voice in this book. Steven is an 8th grader who loves drumming and is figuring out girls and other things when his world gets rocked by the news that his 5-year-old brother Jeffrey has cancer. The way the author depicts how an 8th grade boy and his family deal with this incredibly difficult situation is honestly perfect. His character is so believable as a middle-school student torn between being completely stressed about his own life and also learning how to think about ...more
Aug 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
Steven Alpers is a selfish eighth grader who happens to have exceptional skill on the drums. At times he feels dorky, but still has high hopes of connecting with the best-looking girl in his class. Everything that used to be easy about his self-centered life becomes more difficult when his younger brother, Jeffrey, becomes seriously ill.

During most of my time in this novel, I felt irritated at Steven. I could not understand how he could linger in a completely narcissistic world, when his entire
Dec 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I really loved reading this book. It made me feal really bad, sad during the book. It is about an eight grader named Steven and his brother, Jeffery gets Luekemia, a form of cancer! The book go's through Steven's perspective and tells how he feels all the time. Weather he is happy or sad, it explains hoe Steven is feeling all the time! Steven loses his mind, and the only two people at his school that care about him is his friend Annette and crush, Renee.

I'd suggest you should check this book ou
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was an assigned adolescent fiction book for my 11-year-old brother's 6th grade English class. Now as the 21-year-old sibling, you must be wondering, why would I even entertain the idea of reading this book. Well to be honest, I was just that bored. BUT to my surprise I not only did I enjoy reading this book, I even was MOVED. I mean I physically wept, sniffled, and laughed (of course when appropriate)so often that my family ceased being surprised by my loud outbursts. To take a story o ...more
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is so well done. I love Steven, the narrator and his honest confusion and heartbreak he addresses as part of this narrative. It's sweet and selfless and even funny at times. As a mother, I found some of the scenes painfully emotional, yet a young person would empathize differently, I'm sure. Sonnenblick is one of my favorites. ...more
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I am the author of seven books for children and young adults, including Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie. So if youʼre looking for info about some other guy named Jordan Sonnenblick, youʼve got the wrong website.
Anyway, I know a lot of people are looking for stuff they can use in reports for school, so Iʼll just get this out of the way right up front:
My favorite color is blue.
I have a wife and two kid

Other books in the series

Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie (2 books)
  • After Ever After

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“Instead of agonizing about the things you can't change, why don't you try working on the things you can change” 116 likes
“It's amazing--my parents call everything a discussion. If I were standing across the street, firing a bazooka at my mother, while my father was launching mortar back at me, and Jeffery was charging down the driveway with a grenade in his teeth, my parents would say we should stop having this public "discussion".” 101 likes
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