“Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?”
Neil Gaiman

Friday, December 10, 2010

Books By Jordan Sonnenblick dealing with Cancer...in memory of Donna and the battle thousands fight everyday

Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie


After Ever After


By Jordan Sonnenblick



My Chemical Romance (available on iTunes)


Turn away,

If you could get me a drink

Of water 'cause my lips are

chapped and faded

Call my aunt Marie

Help her gather all my things

And bury me in all my favorite colors

My sisters and my brothers, still

I will not kiss you,

'Cause the hardest part of this

Is leaving you.

Now turn away,

'Cause I'm awful just to see

'Cause all my hair's

abandoned all my body,

Oh my agony

Know that I will never marry,

Baby, I'm just soggy from the chemo

But counting down the days to go.

It just ain't livin'.

And I just hope you know

That if you say

Good-bye today

I'd ask you to be true

'Cause the hardest part of this

is leaving you...

'Cause the hardest part of this

is leaving you...

Cancer. We all seem to be touched by it these days. Family members, friends, loved ones…in some way we all seem to know someone who has either survived cancer, is fighting cancer, or has died of cancer. This week, my friend Donna died of cancer. She was 45. She won’t be able to see her son grow up. My friend Drew lost his wife, his son Josiah, 11, lost his mom. Cancer shows no discretion, rhyme, or reason, and is completely unfair. But we live with it and the devastation it leaves in its path.

Jordan Sonneblick’s YA novels Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie and After Ever After are two beautifully written books that look at trudging through the day to day turmoil cancer bestows upon families through the eyes of two eighth graders. The first book is through the eyes of Steven, big brother to cancer patient Jeffrey, who is five. The second book is written from Jeffrey’s perspective as an eighth grader – as a cancer survivor.

What I like best about Sonnenblick’s books is that they show the real emotions that cancer inflicts upon families. It is a long, drawn-out, tortuous disease and the effects are also long, drawn-out, and often tortuous. Describing cancer as a battle is spot on. Those who have the disease are warriors and those in their everyday support are also warriors.

If you or someone you know if fighting the battle, Sonnenblick’s books will be a wonderful comfort. While it’s written for the middle YA age group, older kids will appreciate it too. I wish I’d given them to my stepdaughter 6 months ago to comfort her as she’s dealt with her own role supporting her younger sister’s battle with cancer. She’ll be getting them for Christmas!

On a final note, I have to publicly thank Jordan Sonnenblick for a) writing such wonderful YA literature and b) being so incredibly kind as to sign multiple copies for me at PSLA as well as mailed copies of Drums. He is a thoughtful and caring man.

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