Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sunny Side Up

Sunny Side Up
By Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm
Graphix, 2015. Comics. 217 p.

Sunny is a fun-loving ten-year-old who is depressed to be spending the summer living with her grandpa in his retirement community in Florida. After receiving her mandatory guest pass, Sunny’s fears of a depressed and boring summer are quickly confirmed when she realizes that her grandpa’s idea of “big plans” is going to the post office or grocery store. Luckily, while visiting the golf course with her grandpa, Sunny meets Buzz, the son of Cuban immigrants, and the two quickly become friends. Buzz introduces Sunny to comic books and Sunny falls in love with the stories of Batman, Superman, Spider-man and Swamp Thing.

Alternating between the time of her visit to Florida and flashback sequences of her time at home leading up to the trip, the story progresses by revealing more and more of the purpose behind Sunny being sent to spend the summer with her grandpa. Her brother, Dale, began spending time with friends who were bad influences and became involved in doing drugs and drinking alcohol. As she remembers a number of experiences, happy and sad, surrounding her brother’s transformation and her management of her feelings, she relates to her beloved superheroes to make connections and cope.

Written and illustrated by the duo behind the Baby Mouse series, Sunny Side Up is a graphic novel that is as funny and entertaining as it is sweet and moving. A great Read-Alike for Smile by Raina Telgemeier.

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