Monday, November 2, 2015

Sunny Side Up

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm. New York: Scholastic, 2015 

The minute you see that Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm have done a new graphic novel, you immediately think of Babymouse or Squish
But not this time.

Sunny Side Up takes you back to Florida again.  But not quite the Florida of Turtle in Paradise.  This is based on another side of Jennifer and Matt's family - addiction from a child's viewpoint.
It's 1976 and Sunny's brother is either addicted to drugs or alcohol (it's not clear). Sonny is caught between him wanting her to not talk about what he does and the worry of their parents.

All Sunny knows is that suddenly she's being sent to Florida to spend a month of her summer with her grandfather - who has his own devils to fight - addiction to tobacco.
Despite this being a retirement community, strictly for older adults, Sunny does find a friend about her age who introduces her to a love of comic books. As the story, in comic book form, goes back and forth from this summer in Florida to what led up to her being sent there, the reader begins to understand how emotionally stressed Sunny is about all this.  Until she finally explodes. (Like a Volcano)

A deeper, more emotional graphic novel than Jennifer and Matt have ever done, and I predict awards and honors to come.

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