Swing It, Sunny
Swing It, Sunny

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Annotation: It's the mid-1970s, and Sunny Lewin is facing the prospect of middle school and the problems of her somewhat dysfunctional family--in particular her older brother, who has been sent to a military academy because of his delinquent behavior.
Catalog Number: #149776
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Holm, Matthew,
Pages: 217 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-545-74172-6 Perma-Bound: 0-605-99433-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-545-74172-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-99433-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016054939
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Sunny Lewin is back home after spending the summer with Gramps in Florida (Sunny Side Up, 2015), but things aren't quite back to normal. She's starting middle school, hanging out with her best friend, playing with her baby brother, and making friends with her new next-door neighbor, but her brother's in a military boarding school after getting into trouble with drugs, and she's worried about whether he's okay. In breezy vignettes spanning a school year, the Holms offer glimpses into Sunny's day-to-day, but her fun is frequently interrupted by fears about her brother, which are often triggered by totally unrelated things, like a TV show and an idle joke made by her parents. While bright, cartoonish art and lively atmosphere are certainly playful, there's a serious undercurrent of emotional complexity here. The Holms do an impressive job of tapping into the free-associative way kids process anxiety, and Sunny's gradual process of facing her fears and finding a way to relate to her brother is sweet and inspiring. Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier.
Horn Book
Sunny (Sunny Side Up) begins middle school back in Pennsylvania with some trepidation; what's more, she faces it without the (complicated) presence of her troubled older brother Dale. The family drama is so, so good, resolved hopefully but honestly. The subject is manifestly serious, and the Holms respect just how dark the story can get while maintaining its mainstream appeal as a middle-grade graphic-novel comedy.
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 46It's autumn of 1976, and Sunny has just entered middle school. Her older brother, Dale, has been sent to boarding school to help with his drug problem, and life isn't the same at home. But Sunny tries to stay positive. She and her best friend plan their Halloween costumes, watch popular TV shows, listen to records, and read comics. When Dale returns home for Thanksgiving, he's angry that his family sent him away. With some sage advice from Gramps, Sunny learns that she can't always fix everything but that offering her brother love and support may be enough. Fans of Sunny Side Up will adore this sequel, which provides enough background for new readers to jump right in. The exaggerated, cartoonlike artwork strikes the right balance of humor and heart, candidly conveying Sunny's emotions. References to 1970s pop culture, such as General Hospital and pet rocks, add authenticity. The Holms are realistic about Sunny's complicated family situation yet imbue the upbeat narrative with hope. VERDICT A must-have for middle grade graphic novel collections.Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A home-centered sequel to Sunny Side Up (2015), with incidents joyful and otherwise in a middle schooler's life.The tale is set in the 1976-77 school year and framed by references to TV shows of that era (both contemporaneous and reruns, including The Six Million Dollar Man, The Brady Bunch, and Gilligan's Island, with amusingly pithy show notes for each). The story unfolds in successive episodes of Sunny's self-conceived The Sunny Show that confront her with domestic challenges ranging from little brother Teddy's filled diaper ("Something Smells") to the stormy holiday visit by formerly loving but now angry, troubled big brother Dale, come home from a military-style boarding school ("Six Million Dollar Boy"). Despite such low notes, though, the general trend is upbeat—with Gramps coming up from Florida for a visit, a sisterly, Indian-American teen neighbor named Neela Singh moving in next door (adding some diversity to the otherwise all-white main cast), and a heartening if long-distance thank-you from Dale for the pet rock Sunny gives him at Christmas being particular highlights. Using a combination of short exchanges of dialogue and frequent wordless reaction shots, the Holms again leverage simply drawn scenes colored by Pien into a loosely autobiographical narrative that is poignant and hilarious in turn and emotionally rich throughout. Another radiant outing. (Graphic historical fiction. 9-11)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal Starred Review (Tue Aug 01 00:00:00 CDT 2017)
ALA Booklist (Sat Jul 01 00:00:00 CDT 2017)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2018)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Wilson's Junior High Catalog
Word Count: 3,429
Reading Level: 2.4
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.4 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 191088 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.6 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q72091
Guided Reading Level: I

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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