After Ever After

Jordan Sonnenblick, Author . Scholastic Press $16.99 (260p) ISBN 978-0-439-83706-4

Jeffrey Alper, now in eighth grade, narrates this intense sequel to Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie . He is cancer-free now, but leukemia treatment left Jeffrey with a limp and a brain that is “a little scrambled up.” When he learns he will be held back unless he passes a statewide standardized test, Jeffrey panics, then agrees to let Tad, his best friend and fellow cancer survivor, tutor him. But Jeffrey fails the practice test and is dealing with other stresses: his older brother—always his biggest supporter—is unreachable in Africa, his girlfriend won't see him until after the test, and Tad is suddenly missing a lot of school. Jeffrey's honest, humorous narration acts as a counterbalance to the subject matter (when Tad asks if he ever dreamed of doing “something completely magnificent,” Jeffrey answers, “Dude, mostly I just hope I won't forget to zip my pants in the morning”). Even so, this book is packed with emotional highs and lows, and readers will understand the toll cancer takes on victims and everyone around them—even after it is gone. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/04/2010
Release date: 02/01/2010
Genre: Children's
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