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Book Reviews

Book Review: “Sunny Rolls The Dice” by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm, Watercolor by Lark Pien

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Series: Sunny #3
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: Too cool for school . . . or the least groovy girl in the grade?

Sunny’s just made it to middle school . . . and it’s making her life very confusing. All her best friend Deb wants to talk about is fashion, boys, makeup, boys, and being cool. Sunny’s not against any of these things, but she also doesn’t understand why suddenly everything revolves around them. She’s much more comfortable when she’s in her basement, playing Dungeons & Dragons with a bunch of new friends. Because when you’re sword fighting and spider-slaying, it’s hard to worry about whether you look cool or not. Especially when it’s your turn to roll the 20-sided die.

Trying hard to be cool can make you feel really uncool . . .

 

My Review:
Now this is what I have been waiting to read in this series: the middle school / middle grade aspect of Sunny’s life. She’s such a cute character that I really wanted to know more about her life in late 70s Pennsylvania. You definitely get a better sense of the kind of person Sunny is – she’s a pretty cool person.

Sunny faces two conflicts: growing up and staying true to herself. Sunny is who she is but she’s concerned that who she is and what she likes is not the way to go. Everyone young and old can relate to this universal internal conflict and peer pressure.

I liked seeing Sunny play Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve never played the game but learning about it was fun. It seems like a fun game to play.

Again I’m in love with the art and the cultural references. Sunny Rolls The Dice was definitely a step in the right direction. I hope there are more books about Sunny in the future.This is a great middle grade series and graphic novel.

 

More Sunny series:
Sunny Side Up – book 1
Swing It, Sunny – book 2

Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: “Swing It, Sunny” by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm, Watercolor by Lark Pien

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Series: Sunny #2
Rating: 3 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: Summer’s over and it’s time for Sunny Lewin to enter the strange and unfriendly hallways of . . . middle school. When her Gramps calls her from Florida to ask how she’s doing, she always tells him she’s fine. But the truth? Sunny is NOT having the best time.

Not only is the whole middle school thing confusing . . . but life at home is confusing, too. Sunny misses her brother Dale, who’s been sent to boarding school. But when Dale comes back, she STILL misses him . . . because he’s changed.

Luckily Sunny’s got her best friend and a mysterious new neighbor on her side . . . because she is NOT going let all this confusion get her down. Instead, she’s going to remain Sunny-side up!

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My Review:
Book 2 felt more like an impasse. Not much happened, very little action. You basically follow Sunny’s emotional journey as she tries to understand her brother’s drug problem and how it’s changed him. There’s little within the story that has to do with Sunny’s first year of middle school, which I was interested in also seeing more of.

As before, I liked the art and how certain scenes were conveyed. I think book 2 is meant to set up something bigger to happen in book 3. While I didn’t like this book as much as I did the first book I do plan to read book 3.

Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: “Sunny Side Up” by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm, Water Color by Lark Pien

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Series: Sunny #1
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUTSunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer. At first she thought Florida might be fun — it is the home of Disney World, after all. But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park. It’s full of . . . old people. Really old people.

Luckily, Sunny isn’t the only kid around. She meets Buzz, a boy who is completely obsessed with comic books, and soon they’re having adventures of their own: facing off against golfball-eating alligators, runaway cats, and mysteriously disappearing neighbors. But the question remains — why is Sunny down in Florida in the first place? The answer lies in a family secret that won’t be secret to Sunny much longer. . .

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My Review:
Sunny Side Up was a cute, adventurous story set in 1976. The juxtaposition of the past and present was cool. Secretes are being kept with the same ferocity as a superhero. And, as superheroes come to learn, they cannot save everyone. I found that to be such a powerful theme for a middle grade book.

What I loved most about this book was the old comic art style. It was a nostalgic reminder of the kind of art you’d see in newspaper comic strips. And the addition of watercolor over the pages was aesthetically pleasing.

I rather liked the panels that had no words because they spoke louder than the one’s that did and I always admire people who can depict something without words.

Overall, a wonderful story I’d recommend for a fun, light bit of reading.