Summer's over and it's time for Sunny Lewin to enter the strange and unfriendly hallways of . . . middle school. When her Gramps calls her from Florida to ask how she's doing, she always tells him she's fine. But the truth? Sunny is NOT having the best time. Not only is the whole middle school thing confusing . . . but life at home is confusing, too. Sunny misses her brother Dale, who's been sent to boarding school. But when Dale comes back, she STILL misses him . . . because he's changed. Luckily Sunny's got her best friend and a mysterious new neighbor on her side . . . because she is NOT going let all this confusion get her down. Instead, she's going to remain Sunny-side up!
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Sunny spends time hanging out with her best friend, and as time goes on, she also makes friends with a new neighbor. Despite being a bit older than Sunny, the new girl takes Sunny under her wing, giving her a sense of purpose that helps her see that, given patience, life can sometimes change for the better.
Jennifer L. Holm shows in 'Swing It, Sunny' that everyone who tries hard enough can find a way to "swing it" and shape their lives the way they want them to be. It is up to each individual person to help themselves and not rely on outside people or forces to help their lives find meaning. Sunny's desire to have Dale as part of her life is definitely important, but when she realizes that he just needs to find himself again, it helps her find her own meaning, too. Through vivid and colorful illustrations, Matthew Holm helps readers to understand the deeper emotions that Sunny is experiencing.
This quick and understated read sheds a light on coping with troubles that seem hard to handle, but are not so far out of reach to fix, if one takes the time and effort to work on them.
Jennifer and Matthew Holm keep the tone honest and straight forward and never talk down to their readers. For those who love graphic novels and want a fun, touching, that has the perfect combo of family drama with a little humor, you will love Swing It Sunny.
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