Tuesday, February 16, 2010

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

     Jordan Sonnenblick tackles tough issues with grace and humor. In After Ever After, readers pick up on Jeffrey's story as he is now in 8th grade. While Jeffrey is now in remission, he must deal with the aftermath of years of chemotherapy and surgeries. He struggles with physical and mental  disabilities as a result of his cancer. Yet, he is like every other 8th grade boy who struggles with his family issues, bad math grades (and a standardized test he has to pass), and a crush on a hot girl. While Jeffrey's storyline is a tough topic, Sonnenblick balances it out with Tad, whose rough exterior provides sarcastic comic relief to a serious topic. Both Jeffrey and Tad must decide to overcome the obstacles cancer brought their way and begin to really live.
A twist at the end provides the readers a glimpse of the harsh reality of cancer along with the hope that exists for a better life.

      As always, Jordan Sonnenblick wrote an amazing book that will allow readers to laugh while discussing tough issues such as cancer, social acceptance, learning disabilities, and even the standardized testing. Each year, I use Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie and Notes from a Midnight Driver as literature circle books. My students always enjoy them. I can't wait to add this book to the rotation!

      Parents can trust that this is a book their child should read and will enjoy. There are few comments that reflect normal 8th grade boys' infatuation with cute girls, but the book is appropriate for a younger audience.

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