Monday, November 27, 2017

Middle Grade Monday: Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm

Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm. Jennifer Holms Sunny Series #2. 224 p. Scholastic Inc., September, 2017. 9780545741729. (Review from finished copy courtesy of publisher)

In this sequel to Sunny Side Up, Sunny has returned home from spending the summer at Grandpa's during the summer. She's about to start middle school and her big brother, Dale is away at a military boarding school. She's missing him but also worried about starting middle school. Luckily, she has her best friend and Grandpa calls frequently to check on Sunny. She always says she's fine, even when she's not. When Dale does come home for a visit, he has changed, leaving Sunny bereft and confused. 

This installment seemed a bit more episodic and there were lots of pop culture references that made me smile. But I wonder if kids will get them. My suspicion is that they won't; but it won't matter because the Holms have a solid fan base and the story is compelling. Sunny is endearing and her middle school troubles are so relatable. Her concern for Dale is poignant and his treatment of her is heartbreaking. The story ends on a hopeful note. It looks as though the series might continue, which pleases me.

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