Sunny Side Up

Sunny Side Up - Jennifer L. Holm, Matthew Holm

I really liked the character of Sunny as she was optimistic, caring, and she adapted to the world around her. I love her comments and her facial expressions. I can see why this graphic novel is popular amongst the middle school crowd as this novel is easy to follow with great colorful illustrations, the characters are fantastic, and it told a story that I feel that most middle school students could relate to.  The story boards inside this graphic novel vary in size which I thought were fun to follow but it was the characters and the story which make this novel stand out with me.

 

There is a lot happening at Sunny’s home in Pennsylvania.   There is a new baby in the house whose crying never ceases to end. There is also her older brother, who is making some bad choices in life which is affecting everyone in the household. With so much happening, her parents have decided to send her to Florida for a part of her summer vacation to visit her grandfather.   It’s Florida and Sunny has envisioned wonderful things about this trip but she soon discovers it may not be what she had hoped for.   Grandpa lives in a retirement community in West Palm Beach and the chances of finding someone under 55 to play with are going to be slim.   Grandpa’s ideas of “big plans” for the day brought smiles to my face as they brought back memories of summer vacations that I took at my grandparent’s house growing up, where their “plans for the day” included going to church, going to the grocery store or out for lunch. As Sunny arrives at her grandpa’s apartment, “the girls” upstairs bring her down a welcoming present to her and I cracked up laughing as this gift brought back so many memories of my grandmother. As Sunny unwraps her gift, I am all smiles.   A Barbie doll head greets her first which is sitting upon a crocheted body. Hidden underneath this body was a roll of toilet paper. This was priceless to me as I looked at Sunny’s facial expression and all the comments surroundings this gift. She too was speechless at her gift. It was moments like these that I loved, where I lived inside Sunny’s head, thinking I knew exactly what she was thinking, glad that the author let me have these moments without any printed words to tell me what to consider.   Living with grandpa is not easy for Sunny even though Sunny pretends it is. Sunny is good at keeping things inside, not airing her voice, she has done it at home and she continues to do it here in Florida. When she finally meets Buzz, it was entertaining when they bonded over comic books. She finally had someone her age to keep her occupied and engaged. I really thought the ending of this novel was wonderful and completed the story. This is an excellent graphic novel.