Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm Book Review

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm
Illustrations by Matthew Holm
Publisher: GRAPHIX
Release Date: August 25, 2015

Sunny Lewin has been shipped off for the summer to live with her grandfather in sunny Florida. Surrounded by old people with no hope of going to Disney World, Sunny finds Florida too sunny and too boring. Luckily, there is one kid around, Buzz who introduces her to comic books, golfball-eating alligators, runaway cats, and disappearing neighbors. Beneath one kids so-called vacation lies something more serious though, the real reason why she was sent to Florida in the first place.

Set in the 1970s, this semi-autobiographical graphic novel looks like a light fun read, but packs an emotional punch. Due to the SEMI-autobiographical part of this book, I did wonder a few times if the story would connect better with young readers if it was set now rather than the 1970s since the historical element played such a small role in the story, but it didn't detract from the story either and so I shall leave it be. The mystery surrounding Sunny's brother and her reasons for being in Florida reminded me very much of Raina Telgemeier's Sisters and for that reason alone, I think the book already has an audience. Cute, funny, and full of pathos, young readers are going to like this one and I daresay any adults who lived through the 70s will relate as well.