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Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  6,138 ratings  ·  929 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 ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published July 31st 2010 by Lee & Low Books
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Reniece Yummy was based off a true story. His mother was on drugs and his father was incarcerated which led his parents to treat him "wrong". Yummy was raised…moreYummy was based off a true story. His mother was on drugs and his father was incarcerated which led his parents to treat him "wrong". Yummy was raised by his grandmother along with his other siblings. (less)
G. Yes, two brothers were caught. You can see more about it here:…moreYes, two brothers were caught. You can see more about it here: (less)

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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
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 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 ...more
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
Jun 22, 2011 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 ...more
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was definitely an interesting graphic novel. I didn't realize that it was based on a true story and it's sad but with everything that we having going on related to guns and violence I would definitely say that this book is important. The only bad thing about it is the fact that I wanted more information from the story. It was a good start but it definitely could have been a little longer.
Jul 09, 2010 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 ...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
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.25 An interesting and tragic story. I enjoyed how the author tried to show many different sides of an event that was so polarizing. I wish it had been a little more in depth and slightly more raw, but based on the intended audience it is certainly understandable that it was pretty basic.
Rocio Cordova
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
dope & powerful visual <3 rest in power Yummy!
Kaethe Douglas
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
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
Kara Belden
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gut-wrenching!!! I hear statistics about gun related deaths and gang violence in Chicago all the time. This story gave those statistics a face and made it all more real to me. I wish the author had included even more detail. My students are DEVOURING this book. I have 3 copies in my classroom library and can’t keep any of them on the shelf.
Nicole Perry
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this one in one sitting. The story is gripping and real. I can see why it is a favorite of so many of my students.
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Yummy is a great book for fans of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It shined a light on so many of the same issues, but in graphic novel format. This was also based on a true story. Yummy's story was presented so well that I wanted to learn more. I was impressed that even the president commented on it. Honestly, I want to learn more about the gang problem in Chicago in general and how people think that it can be fixed. A really good book is one that makes you want to learn more!
Jordan Albrecht
Mar 01, 2017 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 ...more
Eva Leger
Dec 17, 2010 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.
Apr 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
I re-read this banned book for the September twitter chat with #YearofYA and it was even more powerful with Yummy's no win situation of a life of violence, gang wars, family dysfunction and urban decay.

G. Neri's graphic novel is a winner. He 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
Dov Zeller
Apr 21, 2015 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 ...more
Iresea jones
Sep 28, 2015 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
Oct 05, 2015 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.
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.
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This brought back a lot of memories. This is story that captured the city as I was just starting 6th grade. The same age as Yummy.
This 94-page graphic novel will resonate with me always and while I do feel I have given spoilers in this review it is a true story, on the cover of Time magazine and powerful enough that you will still get so much from reading it than my skimmed over description of facts..anyways yea so I was appalled and heartbroken reading about this eleven year old gang member and killer whose entire tragedy of a life made him both a bully and a victim blurring the lines defining both. Through an outside ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
G. Neri tells the heartbreaking story of young Yummy through honest and thought-provoking words and illustrations. His wide-range of characters featured throughout represent the opinions of community members, classmates, teachers, politicians, Yummy’s family, etc. in regards to Yummy’s life and death. These opinions aid in helping the reader piece together the story and make their own judgement of Yummy.

I have found reading graphic novels a bit tricky to read, but this novel has easy-to-follow
Jan 25, 2012 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 ...more
Hannah May
If you like crime you would like this book. Its all about gangs. yummy is a 11 year old boy that is "sweet" but also has a dangerous mind. yummy grew up in Chicago where many gangs are. He shot a young girl trying to shot some guys trying to start some trouble but it messed up his life for good. He didn't think he did anything wrong. he was scared Yummy ended up joining a gang called the black disciple. They had his back called each other family. Yummy would still go to his granny's house to ...more
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I thought this book was so many things- tragic, and powerful, and brutal, and depressing and thought provoking. It’s a graphic novel with a very mature theme- gang warfare. I was intrigued because the story was based on true events that took place on the south side of Chicago in 1994. It really puts the gang violence in perspective. The theme is evident. Is the child (11 years old) a bully or a victim of his life circumstances? Really gives you empathy for both sides and makes you think. It’s a ...more
Apr 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen, graphics
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).
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G. Neri is the Coretta Scott King honor-winning author of Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty and the recipient of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award for his free-verse novella, Chess Rumble. His books have been translated into multiple languages in over 25 countries. They include the novels Tru & Nelle, A Christmas Tale, Ghetto Cowboy, Knockout Games, Surf Mules, and two ...more