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Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  4,664 Ratings  ·  746 Reviews
In August of 1994, 11-year-old Robert “Yummy” Sandifer — nicknamed for his love of sweets — fired a gun at a group of rival gangmembers, accidentally killing a neighborhood girl, Shavon Dean. Police searched Chicago’s southside for three days before finding Yummy dead in a railway tunnel, killed by members of the drug gang he’d sought to impress. The story made such an imp ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published July 31st 2010 by Lee & Low Books
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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
This graphic novel was based on the true story of Robert Sandifer aka Yummy (nicknamed for his love of candy bars and cookies) He was 11 years old.
Told from the point of view of a neighborhood boy this book was heartbreaking. It made it even worse because I knew it was a true story.

Yummy wanted to belong, his dad was in prison and his mom in and out of jail for drugs and prostitution. She lost custody of her kids and Yummy's grandmother was raising him. Along with most of the rest of her grandc
This graphic novel will be great for classroom use, particularly as a companion to _Our America_ by Jones and Newman and _Monster_ by Myers. I recommend it for boys and reluctant readers.
May 21, 2010 Betsy rated it really liked it
“Sometimes stories get to you; this one left my stomach in knots. After three days of reporting, I still couldn't decide which was more appalling: the child's life or the child's death." – John Hull, TIME Magazine, Sept. 1994. When true stories get turned into graphic novels for kids, they tend to take place in the distant past. Books like James Sturm’s Satchel Paige Striking Out Jim Crow, for example. Contemporary stories, or tales that have taken place in the last 20 years, are few and far bet ...more
Jun 22, 2011 Alison rated it really liked it
The cheapest rents that I had in Philly were in some really gang-infested neighborhoods. It's hard to explain this to people in a place like Columbus...that in Philly, if you're freshly out of college and you work in nonprofit, education, or the arts, you probably live in a poor neighborhood of Latinos, blacks, Vietnamese, or Cambodians (or choose another ethnic ghetto). Though the gangs don't bother you (usually...some people get mugged, or have houses or cars burglarized) their violence is omn ...more
Jul 09, 2010 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This graphic novel tells the true story of Robert “Yummy” Sandifer. In 1994, Yummy, called that because of his sweet tooth, fired a gun into a crowd of rival gang members. He ended up killing a bystander, a teen girl. Yummy was just 11 years old when this happened. The story is told from the point of view of Roger, another boy who knew Yummy from school and the neighborhood. Roger tries to make sense of Yummy and how he became a gang member and killer. This is made even more tangible to Roger be ...more
It is very ironic that the illustrations for this true crime story in a graphic novel format are black and white because there is nothing black and white about Yummy's, an 11-year-old child murderer's, story: G. Neri doesn't take sides and he certainly does not hand out easy answers as he leaves it up to the reader to decide whether Yummy was a villain or a victim, or both.

But although Yummy tells an important and heartbreaking cautionary tale about child abuse, neglect and gang violence, it off
David Schaafsma
This is the Wikipedia biography of Robert “Yummy” Sandifer, a “shorty” member of the Gangster Disciples gang in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood who in 1994, at the age of 11, ordered to take a hit for his gang, fired into a crowd in his neighborhood and killed 14 year old neighbor Shavon Dean. With already many gang initiation felonies under his tiny belt, he himself was killed by his gang—too much bad publicity. He made the cover of Time magazine, became an international symbol of gang violence ...more
If you know of a reluctant reader, hand them this book.

Nicely weaved with powerful illustrations and dialogue, you get to know the story of Yummy, a sweet 11 year old boy at grandma's house but a cold-blooded Black Disciple on the streets. This is based on a true story, told from the perspective of Roger.

After shooting and killing 14 year old Shavon, Yummy is on the run to escape from the cops but to also escape from the guilt that has built up. As Roger retells the story, the readers are built
Yummy is true dystopia. It is the tragedy of an eleven-year-old kid caught up in the height of gang violence in 1994 in Chicago. The black-and-white art is mostly very effective, although it lead to some odd effects that occasionally stopped me cold. Neri tells the story through a peer of Yummy's, which enables him to collect the opinions of all sorts of people. I particularly like that Neri didn't slight Yummy's victim, Shavon Dean. Mostly I love that Neri showed how Yummy was both a victim and ...more
Jordan Albrecht
Mar 01, 2017 Jordan Albrecht rated it liked it
Yummy is a book told about an 11 year old who has been caught up in mischief his entire life and decides to join a gang. The name of the gang he joined was the Black Disciples. This gang uses young boys to do their dirty work so none of the higher ups can get in trouble. The book is told by a different 11 year old boy, Roger, who has gone to the same school as Yummy. Throughout the book Roger is trying to figure out whether Yummy is a kid who was destined to get caught up in gang related activit ...more
Eva Leger
Dec 17, 2010 Eva Leger rated it really liked it
My first graphic novel! It's not a genre I would get into like some others but I did enjoy this. I think if I read books of this kind on a more regular basis it would start to irk me. I do think it's a great thing for the younger generation. I don't see myself reading too many more in the future.
This is a very, very fast read. I finished it in one - short - sitting. I had never heard of Yummy before seeing this book. If I did hear about it on the news or some such place I'd since forgotten. Whe
Apr 17, 2011 bjneary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
G. Neri's graphic novel is a winner. She takes the true story of 11 year old Robert "Yummy" Sandifer's shooting of an innocent 14 year old girl, Shavon Dean, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and crafts a gripping tale from the point of view of a boy, Roger, who knew both kids, lived in the same neighborhood, and had a brother in the same gang as Yummy. Roger is an onlooker, part of a close knit family (yet his brother is in the Black Disciple gang too)who went to school with Yummy an ...more
Dov Zeller
Apr 21, 2015 Dov Zeller rated it really liked it
Neri and DeBurke did a great job putting together a story that honors the lives of two young people who died tragically. They also encourage their readers, younger and older, to ask themselves difficult and meaningful questions about cycles of poverty and violence that are much larger than Yummy and Shavon and their neighborhood in Chicago. The art is great, there is a respectfulness, I think, in the way the story is narrated. I may write more, still thinking about the book, but that's all for n ...more
Iresea jones
Sep 28, 2015 Iresea jones rated it really liked it
It was a very good book to me because its to teach young people that being in a gang is not that important . And just because everything is bad at home doesnt mean it has to be bad for you . Try to make your life better , so you can show your parents that . GO TO SCHOOL !! gangs are not that important anymore . and Yummy just ruined his whole life killing a 14 year old girl . When he could have just being playing with some school boys on the block
comix, for young people. will easily make grownups cry .
about growing up on the mean sts. of chicago, violence, trying to understand folks and their situations.
a ferguson mo learning mom net. i bet even ferguson cops could read this
Don't let the spare number of pages in this graphic novel fool you into thinking it's an easy read. It is intense and incredibly tragic.
Oct 05, 2015 Jakhari rated it it was amazing
A sad story about a kid on the south side of Chicago. Who accidentally shot a little girl when trying to kill a rival. Who was on the run. He at the end got shot by his own gang.
Jan 25, 2012 L12_tomj rated it it was amazing
Robert Sandifer is heading down the wrong path in life. He's only 8 when he began shoplifting stores, but by 11 Yummy as he is called by family and friends has a list of crimes and ten felonies on his rap sheet with the police. How could his life have spiraled out of control so fast? Where were Yummy's family? Who did he come in contact that introduced him to the gang life? G. Neri poses these and a multitude of other questions about Yummi and inner city life in general to the reader through th ...more
Apr 07, 2017 Ellie rated it liked it
Shelves: graphics, teen
This is a truly powerful story that is brought to life through the graphic format. I wish the illustrations were a bit... crisper? That's my only criticism, though. It was great to hear from Neri about the way the story called to him and how this book and Ghetto Cowboy have led schools from around the world to request a presentation from him. Especially due to its format, I would recommend this to reluctant readers who are looking for more of a movie experience (but still deserve a great story).
Mar 13, 2017 Sommer added it
Although this book was fairly short, It said alot. I feel like many life lessons were hidden throughout it. Yummy was a young boy. He lived in not so much of a good neighborhood in Chicago. As Yummy grew up he wanted to fit in. He wanted to be in a gang. To be in the gang, the members would tell him things to do so he could earn their respect. He became ruthless and into so many bad things. He started off by simple things like stealing to more dramatic things like shooting. Yummy's entire way of ...more
Kensondra Black
Mar 15, 2017 Kensondra Black rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young children mostly little boys
Recommended to Kensondra by: Mrs. Jones
I really like this book it shows young people that being a thug is not always good cause they could end up like Yummy. Yummy was just a child a little boy who was confused and didn't know right from wrong, like it said in the book he didn't ave anyone to shoe him right from wrong. This book really got to me because i have a 10 year old little brother and he looks up to us but if he didn't have his mom or me and my sisters he could have ended up just like Yummy
Ms Briggs
Apr 14, 2017 Ms Briggs rated it really liked it
This is not a book that you enjoy reading, but rather a story that needed told. It was recommended to me by a student, and I'm glad I took her suggestion. Thanks Destiny!
Jesse Watson
Sep 29, 2010 Jesse Watson rated it it was amazing
Powerfully drawing you deep into the emotional turmoil of the events surrounding the real life story of Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, G. Neri is a master of HOOK and SUBSTANCE. To simply call this book a cautionary tale would be criminal. This book is like the streets. There is no master key to check your answers against. Like the streets, you draw your own conclusions. And, like the streets, the cautions are painted on the walls right in front of you.

Neri is less an author and more of a wizard, stir
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
Jan 23, 2011 Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day) rated it liked it
Recommended to Athira by: Helen
I first came across this title at Helen's blog. I had never heard of this book before, nor the incident narrated in it. Moreover, the title of the book - Yummy - sounded too weird, too out-of-place to me. I could tell from the cover that this book had no relation to food, whatever the title. Yummy is the nickname of the protagonist of this book, Robert Sandifer, because he loved sweets.

This graphic novel was written by G. Neri and illustrated by Randy DuBurke. I thought the narration and the ill
Jul 09, 2010 Ari rated it it was amazing
The story is told through the fictional character of Roger, a classmate of Robert's. Roger is a good narrator. Since he is made to be a classmate of Yummy's we get to see the other side of Yummy. He's not "just a gangbanger", he's a little boy who loves candy and sleeps with a teddy bear. He's a bully, a petty thief and he loves his grandmother. The illustrations are extremely well done and make this story even better and more accessible to younger readers. I think I liked the story even more be ...more
Jan 28, 2012 L12_sarah rated it really liked it
In 1994, young Chicago gangbanger Robert "Yummy" Sandifer made national news when a stray bullet from his gun shot and killed Shavon Dean, a 14 year old girl, during a gang related skirmish. On the run from the police, Yummy was eventually picked up by two of his fellow Black Disciples, driven to a remote location and executed for being a liability. He was 11 years old.

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty tells Yummy's story from the beginning: his terrible childhood growing up with a fa
Nicola Mansfield
Feb 20, 2011 Nicola Mansfield rated it really liked it
Reason for Reading: This was a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a Cybils graphic novels panelist. However, all the panelists received a copy from the publisher except me. I guess it got lost in the mail or, maybe it was a Canada thing. Anyway I was unable to find a copy before our shortlists were due but this book was unanimously voted by the others as the first book chosen to go on the shortlist, I happily deferred to their wisdom. A copy just recently came into my local librar ...more
Lars Guthrie
Sep 11, 2010 Lars Guthrie rated it it was amazing
Initially worth your attention because you won't read anything else that comes close. A comic book for fifth graders up based on the true story of an 11-year-old murderer in Chicago during the sweltering summer of 1994. As Elizabeth Bird (a New York librarian and Goodreads author whose reviews are an essential resource for learning about children's books) put it, "Believe me, you’ve nothing like this in your collection."

But novelty isn't the only factor that makes 'Yummy' so riveting. So many ch
Emily  Nuttall
Apr 14, 2014 Emily Nuttall rated it it was amazing
Yummy is a fictional story based on a real 11 year old boy, Robert Sandifer, who shot a 14 year old girl and was later executed by members of his own gang. This story is heart-breaking, especially knowing that the tragic events actually took place. Yummy was a child who lived with his grandmother, who was a guardian to 20 or so other children. His father was in prison, and his mother was also in and out of jail. She was also very abusive to Yummy, which lead to him being taken away from her and ...more
CH13_Meghan Schultz
Before reading this graphic novel, I researched Robert "Yummy" Sandifer in order to better understand the context of this story. A young boy, Yummy, was a member of the Chicago street gang, the Black Disciples. In 1994 Yummy shot and killed an innocent young girl, and as a result was executed by fellow gang members for fear Yummy would become an informant for the police. Yummy's violent life and untimely death became a national story, his face even appeared on the cover of "Time" magazine.
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My reaction to this graphic novel 1 15 May 30, 2013 08:22AM  
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G. NERI is the Coretta Scott King honor winning author of YUMMY: THE LAST DAYS OF A SOUTHSIDE SHORTY. He is also the recipient of the International Reading Association's Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award for his debut book CHESS RUMBLE. His latest novel GHETTO COWBOY won an ALA Odyssey Honor and the Horace Mann Upstanders Award. His work has been honored by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and t ...more
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