Swing It, Sunny!


Swing It, Sunny (paperback)

by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm


This is the second book about Sunny that the Holms (brother/sister duo) have written.  In Sunny-Side Up, Sunny went to Florida to stay with her grandpa while her parents figured out what to do with her older brother Dale and his drug problem.  In Swing It, Sunny, Dale is at a military school, angry that he has lost his freedom.  Sunny is home and navigating middle school.  She enjoys a lot of tv with her friend, learns to swing a flag from a new neighbor, and dresses up like a nurse for Halloween (although she wanted to be a swamp thing).  The biggest concern for Sunny is her brother.  She loves him and misses him, but he is not himself.

What I liked about this book is that it is great for a students who has a relative with a drug or alcohol problem.  It shows that there are pressures for the entire family, not just the parents, when there is a family member who is sick.  Her dad did a good job of trying to explain that Dale was not himself, but Sunny had to experience the pain for herself.

What I didn’t like about this book is that it didn’t have a strong plot with a problem and solution that would be a good model for my lower readers.  It had a lot of internal conflict, which made it a great story, but harder for my struggling readers to understand.

Book 5 of 40


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (paperback)

by Jeff Kinney

AR Level 5.2, 3 points

As I wrote previously, I was cynical when it came to the Wimpy Kid books.  I didn’t think I’d enjoy them.  However, Rodrick Rules also had me laughing out loud as I read about Greg being pushed around by his older brother Rodrick.  Much of it seems like typical older brother-little brother antics (like making Greg clean up Rodrick’s mess after a party), some of it was just mean, like when Rodrick told everyone a secret about Greg.  Greg, of course, has it coming, because he is mean to his little brother Manny.  Greg continues to be completely clueless and self-centered, which is what makes the book funny.

What I liked about this book was the fact that it gets kids to read.  I have such a hard time getting certain students, especially boys, to read books outside of their comfort zone.  This series will get kids hooked, kind of like a gateway book.  😉

What I didn’t like about this book (and the series in general) is that there is no plot.  It is a book of various events and situations, but there’s no beginning-middle-end or problem-solution.  That’s okay, as long as you aren’t forced to summarize the book.

Book 18 of 40 (40 Book Challenge)