SUNNY SIDE UP by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm is a poignant, yet humorous middle grade graphic novel focusing on family and friendship.
Set in August 1976, Sunny Lewin arrives in Florida to spend a few weeks with her grandfather who lives in a retirement community on a golf course. From searching for lost golf balls and cats to reading comics with a new friend, Sunny has some fun despite being surrounded by “old people”. Flashbacks provide insights into Sunny’s home life back in Pennsylvania revealing family secrets and the real reason she’s staying with her gramps.
Whether referencing the bicentennial celebration or reflecting on the smell of a Polaroid photograph, the authors are effective at immersing readers in the culture of the 1970s. The illustrator’s eye for period details make the story even more endearing.
A note from the authors encourages readers to reach out to family, teachers, and counselors if they find themselves dealing with someone experiencing substance abuse.
Librarians will find that the authentic story will appeal to youth. The authors seamlessly weave important social messages into the heartwarming summer story.
Published by GRAPHIX from Scholastic on August 25, 2015.