Jeannie's Reviews > Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty

Yummy by G. Neri
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Nov 04, 2011

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Read on November 04, 2011

Citation: Yummy: Last Days of a Southside Shorty, G. Neri, Randy DuBurke (illustrator), 94p. Junior Books / Graphic Novel

Genre: Graphic Novel – Biography

Summary: This is an account of the last days/events in the brief life of Robert Sandifer, best known as Yummy. The author attempts to answer the question why concerning the life of this eleven year old ruffian.

Critique: a. the author’s choice of the graphic novel to deliver the final events of the life of Yummy is truly beneficial. Its comic form makes the tough questions of Yummy’s life and decisions easier to bear. It is advantageous to young readers because the words provided in this child friendly form may reach those who would not have other wise read them. It is also helps older readers remember that even though the acts are gruesome, they are being performed by a child who really wants to be someone’s hero.
b. The graphic novel format for this book draws its strength from the use of black and white to illuminate the text. How ironic is this, since Yummy’s life and actions are anything but black or white?

c. I feel this powerful contradiction is best illustrated on page p41. On this page the narrator tells us “Yummy was looking to impress” and the top panel shows Yummy totally backed out with only the light of the firepower in his hands that is “blinding” him. All the bystanders in this Black community are totally white with fear. After the shot has been fired our eyes fall to a close-up of Yummy holding the gun in a frozen state. Yet his frame is black and he only has one visible eye with a small streak of white on his face. The gun now doubles for his other eye which is cold and unseeing. Yet his hand is white which could be interpreted as sick or scared concerning the action it has just taken part in.

Curriculum connection: I think this biography could be used for Grades 6+ in a social studies class surrounding the topic of juvenile justice/youth detention. Classes could research the actual newspaper/magazine articles used for research of this piece.

I think counselors could use this biography beginning with the upper elementary grades. Most schools have a DARE program starting at 5th grade, bully prevention, and gang awareness seminars that this account could be used as a supplement for them.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Sue (new)

Sue Amazing book - deftly handled in this critique!

Jeannie Sue wrote: "Amazing book - deftly handled in this critique!"

Thanks...I found this book a "hard pill" to swallow. I'm glad there was hope injected in the end.

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