Tuesday, February 16, 2016

SUNNY SIDE UP by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm

Sunny Side Up
I ran across SUNNY SIDE UP while looking for graphic novels to add to my classroom library.  I've collected quite a few, but surprisingly enough, they aren't flying off the shelves like I thought they would.  Maybe SUNNY SIDE UP with its quirky main character and colorful layout will convince a few readers to try a new genre.

Ten year old Sunny Lewin has packed her bag and headed from Pennsylvania to Florida.  The thrill of flying without her parents and the promise of a good time while visiting her grandfather is overshadowed by feelings that Sunny can't quite express.

Gramps lives in a retirement community that doesn't really offer Sunny much excitement.  She was hoping for a Disney World type adventure, but instead she swims alone in the pool, goes to dinner at 4:15 pm, and sleeps on an uncomfortable and squeaky hide-a-bed couch.  Everywhere she looks, she finds packages of cigarettes even though Gramps swears that he has quit like his doctor ordered. 

When she isn't bored to death, Sunny is thinking about things back home.  There is something going on with her older brother.  Overwhelming and unexplained feelings of guilt have her worrying about whether she might be to blame for whatever is going on.

One bright light in the retirement community is the son of the groundskeeper.  When Sunny meets Buzz, she finds a bit of adventure and with his help learns to appreciate and even love comic books.  Through the adventures of the super heroes she reads about, she gains the courage to confront Gramps about his smoking problem and talk to him about the guilt she feels about her brother's problems. 

The creative genius of Jennifer L. Holm & and her brother Matthew Holm will help readers understand the difficulty of dealing with family issues and the secrets that sometimes threaten to complicate matters even more. 

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