Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for After ever after
After ever after


1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, 2010 (Printed in the U.S.A.)
Physical Description:
260 pages ; 22 cm.
General Note:
"A Junior Library Guild selection."

"Book design by Marijka Kostiw"--Title page verso.
Although Jeff and Tad, encouraged by a new friend, Lindsey, make a deal to help one another overcome aftereffects of their cancer treatments in preparation for eighth-grade graduation, Jeff still craves advice from his older brother Stephen, who is studying drums in Africa.
Reading Level:
Middle School.

820 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 5.2.

Reading Counts! 5.4.

Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.2 7.0 135012.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.4 12 Quiz: 47791 Guided reading level: Y.
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:


Call Number
TEEN FICTION Sonnenblick, J.
TEEN FICTION Sonnenblick, J.
TEEN FICTION Sonnenblick, J.

On Order



Jeffrey isn't a little boy with cancer anymore. He's a teen who's in remission, but life still feels fragile. The aftereffects of treatment have left Jeffrey with an inability to be a great student or to walk without limping. His parents still worry about him. His older brother, Steven, lost it and took off to Africa to be in a drumming circle and "find himself." Jeffrey has a little soul searching to do, too, which begins with his escalating anger at Steven, an old friend who is keeping something secret, and a girl who is way out of his league but who thinks he's cute.

Author Notes

Jordan Sonnenblick is the author of the acclaimed DRUMS, GIRLS, & DANGEROUS PIE, NOTES FROM THE MIDNIGHT DRIVER, ZEN AND THE ART OF FAKING IT, and the sequel to DRUMS called AFTER EVER AFTER. He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two children.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

With his trademark combination of sarcasm and shameless heartstring-pulling, Sonnenblick continues the story begun in his debut, Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie (rev. 1/06). Jeffrey has been cancer-free for over five years now -- which means he's most likely out of the woods -- but that doesn't mean life is perfect. Years of poisonous treatments have left him with some learning disabilities, a particular problem now that the state is making a standardized test a requirement for graduating from middle school; Jeffrey's childhood as the town's cause clbre makes his relationships with peers awkward; and older brother and hero Steven has run off to Africa. Add surly best friend (and fellow cancer survivor) Tad, new girl (and possible girlfriend) Lindsay, and some inspiring (or occasionally bonkers) teachers, and you have the makings of a life-changing year. Sonnenblick explores the emotional and physical aftermath of childhood cancer, ground rarely tread in books for children, with a sensitive but light touch, offering thought-provoking details but keeping the action anchored in family dynamics, first-girlfriend drama, and Tad's irascible, tell-it-like-it-is personality. There's plenty of sentimentality and a few soapboxes, but Sonnenblick's gift for comic exaggeration and snappy dialogue ensures that readers will be drawn in for another deftly plotted tour of eighth grade at its most profound. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Sonnenblick's Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie (2005) told the story of eighth-grader Steven Alper, whose five-year-old brother, Jeffrey, is diagnosed with leukemia. Here, Jeffrey is in the eighth grade himself and takes the limelight. His cancer has gone into remission, but that's not the end of it. Treatment is nothing compared to what happens after you've been cured.' . . . Being a cancer survivor can be a life sentence all its own. Jeffrey, as well as his best friend, fellow survivor, and devilishly dark humorist, Tad, have all kinds of brain and nerve damage from the intense chemotherapy and radiation, leaving Tad in a wheelchair and Jeffrey with serious concentration problems. But he mostly sweats the smaller stuff: fear of being held back a grade if he fails an impending standardized test; a brother who seems to have abandoned him at the worst possible time; strife at home that he sees as his fault; and, most terrifying, a cute girl who actually likes him. Switching gears back and forth between huge, heavy issues and universal adolescent concerns, Sonnenblick imbues Jeffrey with a smooth, likable, and unaffected voice. Most of all, he recognizes that humor and heart aren't ways to lighten a story they're there to deliver it. As hilarious as it is tragic, and as honest as it is hopeful, don't confuse this book with inspirational reading. It's irresistible reading.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist