Holm, Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm Sunny Side Up illustrated by Lark Pien GRAPHIC NOVEL 218 pgs. Scholastic, 2015. $8.99. Language: G; Mature Content: PG (substance abuse); Violence: PG.
10-year-old Sunshine is spending part of her summer in Florida with her grandfather. He lives in a retirement community and she is the only child there. Until she meets the gardener’s son Buzz; they read comic books, find lost cats and look for ways to earn money (to buy more comic books).
Told in Flashbacks, the reader learns why Sunny is in Florida with her grandpa, and we get a glimpse of what life is like for a younger sibling of a person with a substance abuse problem. Carefully handled, the drugs and alcohol use are implied, rather than shown, and the violence is realistic and heartbreaking. This is one of those books the kids will pick up because it looks fun, and also learn about something really important.
EL, MS - ADVISABLE Lisa Librarian