"Sunny Side Up" is a quiet, earnest, heartfelt, and hilarious rendering of young Sunny's summer spent with her grandfather at a retirement home. For Sunny, a new friendship and a love for comic books emerges, but so too does the strength it takes to face the hardship her family is dealing with back home.
An important book, "Sunny Side Up" deals with an issue many young people face daily, as they witness family members or friends struggling with substance abuse problems. Incidentally, it is also as big-hearted and moving a book as you'll be able to find. It's absolutely wonderful.— Will
Oh, how I loved this book. Sunny, our lead character, is sent to Florida for the summer to stay with her grandfather due to some troubles back home. Without graphic images or language, Holm conveys Sunny's brother's substance abuse problems with a gentle hand--you can tell the artwork and accompanying language were meticulously planned to help younger readers navigate a heavy but important issue. It's also wonderful to see how Sunny helps understand her family not only through talking with her grandfather but through voraciously reading comic books.
The story is not as dark as I may be painting it--there are very funny moments of levity and silliness, as you'd expect. The story takes place in 1975 and 1976, and even though I didn't come along until the 1980s, I loved recognizing everything from typical games played at a suburban Fourth of July Party to the style of storm door on Sunny's house in Pennsylvania.
This is going to earn some serious accolades. Great for fans of Matthew & Jennifer Holm (duh), Raina Telgemeier, and Cece Bell.— Janet