Sunny Side Up GN
Publisher: Scholastic/Graphix
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Price: $23.99 (HC) / $12.99 (TP)
Creator(s): Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm, with color by Lark Pien
Format: 224 pgs., Full-Color, 5-1/2" x 8-1/2", Hardcover/Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-5457-4165-1 (HC) / 978-0-5457-4166-8 (TP)
Age Rating:  8-12
ICv2 Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

The Holms have created some wonderful graphic novels for younger kids, but this time they've done something more serious for older kids.  It's a period piece of sorts, set in 1976, a time when Disney World was fairly new and the country was celebrating the bicentennial.

Sunny has her summer plans disrupted suddenly, and is sent off to Florida to spend time with her grandfather, who lives in a retirement community.  That means almost no company her age, days where the "exciting" part is a trip to the post office, and encounters with an alligator at the obligatory golf course.  Not how she had wanted to spend her time, and as the story slowly unfolds, the reader learns more of the serious back story, and why she was really sent to Florida.  Sunny spends the summer learning about comic books, lost golf balls, all you can eat buffets, all you can drink orange juice, and a host of other things, some of which allow her to learn about herself and some rules of life.

The story is powerful and emotionally touching, and most older kids will find it either entertaining or enlightening.  Some younger kids will grab it, and those might be disappointed that it's so different from Babymouse and Squish.  Highly recommended for grades 4+.

--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.