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Sunny Side Up

by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Published by Graphix / Scholastic, 2015
216 pages
ISBN: pbk. 978𢠧45741668

Ages 913

Sunny is spending a few weeks during the summer of 1976 with her grandfather in Florida. It抯 not much of a vacation, though. Her grandpa lives in a retirement community where everyone is over 55. After meeting Buzz, the caretaker抯 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抰 put together all the signs of a drug problem, and her parents won抰 talk about it. The tension and fighting between Dale and her parents gets worse, while Sunny finds her brother抯 behavior sometimes embarrassing, and, worse, frightening. Jennifer and Matthew L. Holm抯 collaboration in this full-color graphic novel lovingly and humorously details elements of American life in the mid1970s while sensitively conveying the emotional uncertainty Sunny feels. Dale抯 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, 揥e wrote this book so that young readers who are facing these same problems today don抰 feel ashamed like we did.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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