Monday, October 15, 2018

Middle Grade Monday and Audio Review: Sunny by Jason Reynolds

Sunny by Jason Reynolds. Track series #3. Unabridged downloadable audiobook, 3 hours. Narrated by Guy Lockard. Simon & Schuster Audio, April, 2018. 9781508246169 (Review from audiobook borrowed from public library. Own print copy.)

Let Middle Grade Monday bring a little sunshine on yet another rainy Monday. Sunny by Jason Reynolds is the third book in his very popular track series. Sunny lives up to his name because he is quick with a smile and a good word for his teammates on the Defenders, the elite middle school track team Sunny runs for. But all is not well at home. Sunny is growing tired of trying to please his distant father - a father who insists Sunny call him by his first name - Darryl. The only thing that seems to please Darryl is when Sunny wins the mile run. What happens when Sunny quits the mile run just as he's about to win? Can Sunny still be the track team if he can't/ won't run?

I do so love this series, but I think Sunny might be my favorite so far. Guy Lockard does an amazing job of portraying Sunny's energy. I am not sure I would've read Sunny's exuberance quite so well with my eyes. I especially loved the commentary at the end featuring the author and the narrator speaking about their friendship. I happened to be in the audience when Guy Lockard spoke at the Odyssey Award reception (Ghost won an Odyssey Honor) and thought of his and Jason's remarks as I listened to this story.

My students and I eagerly await the release of Lu on October 23. There's a waiting list already. I will most likely read it with my ears as, you guessed it, Lockard is the narrator. It will be a bit sad to see this series end; but I'm certain that Reynolds has a few things lined up.

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