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Sunny Side Up

(Sunny #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  32,359 ratings  ·  2,153 reviews
When is a summer vacation not really a summer vacation?

Sunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer. At first she thought Florida might be fun -- it is the home of Disney World, after all. But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park. It's full of . . . old people. Really old people.Luckily, Sunny isn't the only kid around
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Graphix
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Emily I think this is a great book to give children of age ten or so and up, as it does not promote any of the negative behaviors and only shows them somewh…moreI think this is a great book to give children of age ten or so and up, as it does not promote any of the negative behaviors and only shows them somewhat indirectly. More importantly, it shows that the best way to handle these situations is to talk about them with trusted adults rather than try to bottle in your fears and emotions. It also reminds kids that problems in their families are not their fault.(less)
LostInADreamlessSea Yes. The events in this book certainly could happen to anyone.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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Rachel Reads Ravenously
4 stars!

A cute story with some more serious undertones. Sunny Side Up is the story of a young girl who is sent to Florida to spend the summer with her grandpa. Placed in the 70's, she finds Florida to be boring. Meanwhile she flashes back to months before where her and her family watched her teenage brother spiral out of control with substance abuse.

I think this is an important book for tweens to have available as they can relate to Sunny. It also shows addiction as something that shouldn't be
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"What superpower would you want?" -- Buzz

"Invisibility." -- Sunny

Matter-of-fact graphic novel that alternates between the amusing and the bittersweet, Sunny Side Up centers on the plucky blonde ten year-old Sunny Lewin. A native of suburban southeastern Pennsylvania (woot-woot!), she is suddenly shipped off to spend August of 1976 with her widowed grandfather at his retirement cottage in quiet Vero Beach, Florida. (The reasons for Sunny's parents sending her away for a month soon become clear vi
As most of my friends probably well know by now, I am generally not all that much a fan of graphic novels as a genre. But after having read a few online reviews of Jennifer L. Holm's (narrative) and her brother Matthew Holm's (illustrations) Sunny Side Up I finally decided to download it on my iPad, as from the book description, this middle grade graphic novel is set in 1976 and indeed with young Sunny, also features a main protagonist who exactly like myself was ten years old in the summer of 1 ...more
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Anyone who thinks that nothing serious or good happens in graphic novels and that they're not worth reading needs to reconsider. (I'm looking at my daughter's 3rd grade teacher here.) ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it
A book by the prolific Jennifer Holms and her artist brother Matt, who also do stuff for younger kids like the very successful Babymouse and Squish. Jennifer does a range of books for different ages. This one I would say works best for 3rd through 5th graders, based on my limited family sample of just that age group. Well, the boys read this, not the girl (yes, they have read Nimona and Lumberjanes and other "girl" books and liked them a lot), and Henry (8) gave it 5 stars, Harry 3.5, though bot ...more
A different sort of summer for Sunny. Sunny is spending the summer with her grandfather who lives in a retirement village down in florida. There are no kids around and no one to play with and grandpa's idea of an adventure is going to pick up his pills. There are some funny cute things going on in this story. The meat of the story is told in flashbacks. We see Sunny and her brother and the trouble the he is getting into. He is addicted to alcohol and we find out that Sunny was sent down to her G ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Siblings Jennifer and Matthew Holm, best known for the Baby Mouse series, create a fabulous graphic novel that follows 11-year-old Sunshine “Sunny” Lewin when she’s dispatched to spend the summer with her grandfather in West Palm Beach, Florida, in 1976. Days with Gramps at the Pine Palms retirement community are pretty boring: They’re hundreds of miles from Orlando and Disney World, and there aren’t any other kids at all — until Sunny meets Buzz, the Cuban gardener’s son.

The Holms’ Sunny Side
Oh, the joys of time travel! This story takes place in 1975 and 1976, and it was so pitch perfect that I was laughing in recognition within pages.

The story itself is about Sunny's unplanned summer visit with her Gramps in Florida. Flashbacks reveal that Sunny's brother, Dale, has a drug problem that impacts his entire family. Not at all preachy, especially when Sunny and Buzz find lost cats and keep getting rewarded, this graphic novel shows the importance of talking about your feelings with som
Shoa Khan
A breezy Middle Grade single-sitting summer read about a girl who goes to Florida to spend the summer with her Gramps.

The book is semi-autobiographical, features nice colored illustrations

and is targeted to help kids cope with a close family member or friend dealing with substance abuse.

It took me more than one sitting though, coz I was jet lagged and kept passing out! :P

Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
2 stars - it's ok. The illustrations don't add any richness or depth to the story, and so it's a very fast and simplistic read. Remember when sitcoms were mocked for tackling and resolving a challenging issue in 24 minutes? This is even more, erm, concise, as it tackles Cuban immigrants, senility, cigarette addiction, feminism (the girl discovers comics and, while she focuses on different elements than the boy, does decide that she's Batman, not Wonder Woman, when they play), and the Big issue. ...more
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Yay, good, great for the Telgemeier/Bell/Gownley fans. Although the Holm team are stars in their own write (heh heh, see what I did there?).

This one got darker than I was expecting. I enjoyed the Florida Retirement Center from a Kids Perspective story, and then it got to the potentially triggering content, and it felt a little out of the blue (even though they've been alluding to it throughout), tone-wise. I liked her friendships with the other kid on campus, and the residents themselves.

I supp
Young Sunny is spending a summer in Florida with her grandpa, while family problems simmer back home in Pennsylvania. Between searching for the missing cats of the retirement community residents, and spending time reading comics with another young chap, Sunny has a memorable, not-too-boring time.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit.
Ms. Yingling
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

In this graphic novel, Sunny is ten years old in 1976, and is sent from her home in Pennsylvania to spend time with her grandfather at his retirement community, Pine Palms, in Florida. There are few chidlren her age there, although she does befriend Buzz, who is the son of the groundskeeper. She and Buzz read comic books, rescue old lady's cats for pocket money, and go swimming. With her grandfather, Sunny goes to Early Bird Special Dinners and has to put u
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Finished this one as well! Just in time too :) Happy New Year everybody!
May 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic
My 9-year-old says "three stars," and I agree. ...more
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's August of 1976 and ten-year-old Sunny arrives in West Palm Beach, FL, to spend a month with her grampa. He says he has "big plans" and then they do things like go to the post office, the grocery store, and the early bird buffet. Sunny dreams of Disney World, but the two hour drive seems an impossible dream -- even though Grampa's car "Bertha" has 200 horsepower under the hood. As a child of the 70's, this book is a blast from the past. There is even a nod to the bicentennial celebration.
Dov Zeller
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Sunny Side Up" is the story of Sunny's summer stay with her grandfather in FL when she is around ten years old, and things are tough at home. The story goes back and forth in time to show events leading up to her trip to FL, which starts out shaky, but gets better as she makes a friend her age and goes on lots of adventures and reads a lot of comic books, and as she gets closer to her grandfather and finds herself more and more able to connect with him and the his peers at Pine Palms (a retirem ...more
Kathy Martin
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Graphic novel tells the story of Sunny who is ten and sent to spend the summer at her Grandfather's in a retirement community in Florida while her parents deal with her older brother Dale's drug addiction. She meets a new friend who is a big fan of comic books about superheroes. The two kids help find lost cats and have other adventures with the old people. Sunny is sad about keeping secrets and feels her brother's addiction is her fault. It doesn't help that her grandfather said he quit smoking ...more
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading Sunny Side Up by Jennifer and Matthew Holm. At first, I wasn't sure where the story of a young girl visiting her grandpa was going. But, in the end, I was moved by her experience and the relationships she formed. If you enjoy books like Smile and Roller Girl, you will enjoy Sunny Side Up. It's a meaningful story with engaging illustrations. ...more
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a very sweet book. It is about this little girl who went down to Florida to cost her grandfather because of something bad that happened in her family. At first she really hated being there but then it kind of grew on her and she made a friend. I recommend this book if you are looking for a easy, fun and engaging graphic novel.
Tracy The Great
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think it was a great book because it was really interesting! I recommend this book to anyone who likes comics!
Jacobe D.
Sunny's summer just turned upside down.

Sunny Lewin had plans for this summer. Big plans. But all of that changes when she is shuttled off on a "big girl trip" to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer. At first this doesn't seem too bad. The only down side is that Sunny can't go to the island with her best friend on their "terrific" summer getaway. But that's alright. After all, Florida is the home of Disney World!

Ok, I take that back. The Retirement Home that Gramps lives in is s
Maddie K
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really liked the book Sunny Side Up, it was so good that I read it in one night. It's about a girl named Sunny who had to stay at her grandfathers house for the summer because her brother was doing bad things. At first she thought it was going to be great because her grandfather lives in Florida and that's the home for Disney world. Once she started staying there it wasn't fun because her grandfather lived at a place with a bunch of old people and no kids. Then she meets a boy named Buzz who ...more
This was adorable. It took me a second to realize that some chapters were flashbacks (this is what I get for not reading the date at the begginning of each chapter) but once I did, it was smooth sailing. I really liked Sunny and her Grandpa and the moment Buzz showed up with his L.A. Dodgers hat (go Los Doyers!), I was a goner for him as well. It took a while to come out, but this book dealt with a serious family situation that I felt was handled perfectly for this age group of readers. Sunny fe ...more
Brenda Kahn
I have been eagerly anticipating reading this and it absolutely did not disappoint. While the story is more serious than the brother/ sister duo's Babymouse and Squish graphic novels, the seriousness is leavened with humor both gently and snort-worthy and the treatment makes the issue accessible and relatable to tween readers. A definite purchase for school and public libraries. On a side note: I had the exquisite pleasure of hearing it performed in a Scholastic reader's theater at the ALA Annua ...more
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was another recommendation by a student who said I would enjoy it. The beginning was sweet and easily transferable to conversations and experience I am sure many of us have had with grandparents. As the story developed it was like a gut shot because I knew absolutely nothing about the book before I read it. I really think that made it have more powerful of an impact on me. It is so sad to think that there are so many people out there dealing with alcohol and drug addictions. It is heartbrea ...more
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet graphic novel suitable for older children. Sunny is a young girl who gets sent to spend a summer with her grandfather in Florida. While the trip does not meet her expectations and her dreams of a vacation in Florida, she puts on a happy face and pretends that she is enjoying her time. For the past year, her older brother has been struggling with drug / alcohol use, and she always feels like she has to hide her feelings and put on a happy face. Her parents send her to Florida so t ...more
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sunny Side Up was an amazing book! I loved every part of it! So amazing I had to start and finish it today! Sunny is such an amazing character and every bit of the book makes you want to read until the end! I can't wait for my turn with the sequel "Swing It Sunny"! I'll make sure my time with these library books is used wisely.... by reading about Sunny! Thanks for making my book life grow ;)

Michele Knott
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Having lived in Florida, I really appreciate the references. Having grown up in the 70s, I really appreciated the scary Barbie head-macrame-toilet paper hider.
This books ends up being very important in opening up conversations of when things aren't perfect within a family and how family members have to adjust.
Sunny's summer plans are changed unexpectedly when she is sent to visit her grandfather in his Florida retirement community. A powerful graphic novel that tells the story of a 10-year old coming to terms with her big brother's drug problem. The Holm siblings do a great job telling a story set in 1976 that is relevant and moving and will resonate for middle grade readers facing hard truths. ...more
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Jennifer L. Holm is a NEW YORK TIMES bestselling children's author and the recipient of three Newbery Honors for her novels OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA, PENNY FROM HEAVEN, and TURTLE IN PARADISE.

Jennifer collaborates with her brother, Matthew Holm, on two graphic novel series -- the Eisner Award-winning Babymouse series and the bestselling Squish series. She is also the author of several other highly pra

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