Reviews for After Ever After

AudioFile Reviews 2011 April
Nick Podehl takes over the narration in this sequel to GIRLS, DRUMS, AND DANGEROUS PIE. This time the story is told from the viewpoint of younger brother Jeffrey, who is now an eighth-grade cancer survivor. Podehl delivers the story in a light, conversational tone, belying the seriousness of the issues Jeffrey must deal with. It's the perfect voice for a young teen who is experiencing his first love; missing his older brother, who is in Africa "finding himself"; and trying to pass his courses so he can go on to high school. Podehl paces the story well and brings out the humorous sections with his spot-on timing. Also memorable is his portrayal of Jeffrey's snarky best friend, Tad, whom Podehl depicts with a sarcastic tone that contrasts well with Jeffrey's ingenuous nature. E.N. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2011 October

Gr 6-9--In Jordan Sonnenblick's Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie (2004), eighth-grader Steven deals with his younger brother Jeffrey's diagnosis of leukemia. In this sequel (2010, both Scholastic), Jeffrey is now in the eight grade and his cancer is in remission. He met his best friend, Tad, in the fourth grade when they were both undergoing treatment for cancer. Now, as a result of Jeffrey's chemotherapy and radiation treatments, he suffers from attention span issues and is worried about taking the new state middle school proficiency exams. Supporting him through his struggle to prepare for the tests are his parents, Tad, new girl Lindsey, and the eccentric gym teacher. Nothing seems to help; he fails the pre-test and loses hope of joining his classmates in graduation to ninth grade. Meanwhile, his big brother Steven who has always been there for him, decides to drop out of college and head to Africa to do some soul searching, leaving a huge hole in Jeffrey's already shaky world. At the last minute, the entire eighth grade stages a walk-out during the exams in support of Jeffrey. Nick Podehl does a fine job of portraying all the characters, highlighting the frequent humor and occasional poignancy. A sure hit with middle schoolers.--Jennifer Ward, Albany Public Library, NY

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