for Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Sunny is spending a few weeks during the summer of 1976 with her grandfather in Florida. It’s not much of a vacation, though. Her grandpa lives in a retirement community where everyone is over 55. After meeting Buzz, the caretaker’s son, things get better as the two of them bond over comic books. Meanwhile, in flashbacks, Sunny remembers recent months at home, where her big brother, Dale, has become more and more unpredictable. At 10, Sunny can’t put together all the signs of a drug problem, and her parents won’t talk about it. The tension and fighting between Dale and her parents gets worse, while Sunny finds her brother’s behavior sometimes embarrassing, and, worse, frightening. Jennifer and Matthew L. Holm’s collaboration in this full-color graphic novel lovingly and humorously details elements of American life in the mid–1970s while sensitively conveying the emotional uncertainty Sunny feels. Dale’s drug use is one part of the cause; the silence around it is another. For Sunny, being talked to gently, honestly, truthfully, by her grandfather, who is not comfortable talking but willing to try, is a tremendous help. The sibling co-creators share their personal experience as children with a relative who had a substance abuse problem in a note that states, “We wrote this book so that young readers who are facing these same problems today don’t feel ashamed like we did.” (Ages 9–13)
CCBC Choices 2016. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016. Used with permission.
When is a summer vacation not really a summer vacation? Sunny 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. . .
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.