Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer and Matthew Holm

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Source: I purchased it

For years I refused to read graphic novels.  I'm not sure why. I grew up reading comic books and loved them.  I love picture books.  Maybe it is because the very first graphic novel I read was completely wordless.  I didn't get it, or like it.  I decided right then and there I didn't like graphic novels.   Once again it took a kid to challenge me to step out of my comfort zone. Because of that  student I have a shelf full of graphic novels. It will continue to grow.  That brings me to this book.

I have been a fan of Jennifer Holm's books for quite some time.  When I saw the preview of this book I knew it was one I had to have on my classroom shelves.  I bought it with the intention of reading it immediately. However, I was so sick I was unable to read at all. I took it to school when I returned and before I could open it a student asked how long I was going to hold on to it before I put it on my shelf.  I felt guilty and immediately checked it out to them and then three other students. All of them said I had to read it.  So I took it off my shelves yesterday and read it before I went to bed. It has been one of the best books I've read in a while.  I understand why my students love it.

Most kids, especially today, see family problems either in their own houses or in their friend's houses. They are able to identify with the main character in the story.  Sunny is a ten year old girl, the same age as my students. She adores her older brother. However, her older brother has some problems. To make them worse he keeps putting her in the middle by asking her to lie for him.  These secrets are destroying her and her family.  When she is sent to visit her grandfather in Florida she meets a friend who loves comic books. Between the comic books, her grandfather and her new friend, she finds the strength and courage to begin the healing process.  It is a quick read and such a wonderful book with such a powerful message.

I was able to identify with this character. I have a sister that had an addiction problem. I helped hide it from my mother for so long that it almost destroyed our family.  It is tough to heal from this situation no matter what the age. I have to say that this book made me, an adult look at our situation to see how we could take the healing process to the next step.

Thank you Jennifer and Matt Holm for such a wonderful book.

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