42 pages 1 hour read

Jordan Sonnenblick

After Ever After

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2010

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Series Context: Jordan Sonnenblick’s Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

Born in 1969, Jordan Sonneblick worked as a middle-grade English teacher for two decades before retiring to write young adult fiction. His first novel, Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, was published in 2004. It focuses on Steven Alper, whose life is turned upside down when his younger brother, Jeff, is diagnosed with cancer. Sonnenblick explains that he was inspired to write Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by a personal experience:

In 2002-03, I had a student named Emily, whose little brother was in treatment for cancer. Emily rarely talked about her brother’s illness, but of course it was very hard on her. One day I asked her mom whether it would be helpful if I found a book for Emily to read about a teen going through a similar situation. Emily’s mom said yes, but I couldn’t find a novel that I thought would be just right for Emily (“About Jordan Sonnenblick.” Jordan Sonnenblick).

As his family deals with his brother’s illness, Steven feels pressured to act as a perfect son and brother. At the same time, he finds comfort in his girlfriend, Annette, and also befriends Samantha, a teenager undergoing treatment for leukemia who makes him promise to stay close to Jeff.