Sunny by Jason ReynoldsSunny by Jason Reynolds

Sunny

byJason Reynolds

Hardcover | April 10, 2018

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Sunny tries to shine despite his troubled past in this third novel in the critically acclaimed Track series from National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds.

Ghost. Patina. Sunny. Lu. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds, with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics. They all have a lot of lose, but they all have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Sunny is the main character in this novel, the third of four books in Jason Reynold’s electrifying middle grade series.

Sunny is just that—sunny. Always ready with a goofy smile and something nice to say, Sunny is the chillest dude on the Defenders team. But Sunny’s life hasn’t always been sun beamy-bright. You see, Sunny is a murderer. Or at least he thinks of himself that way. His mother died giving birth to him, and based on how Sunny’s dad treats him—ignoring him, making Sunny call him Darryl, never “Dad”—it’s no wonder Sunny thinks he’s to blame. It seems the only thing Sunny can do right in his dad’s eyes is win first place ribbons running the mile, just like his mom did. But Sunny doesn’t like running, never has. So he stops. Right in the middle of a race.

With his relationship with his dad now worse than ever, the last thing Sunny wants to do is leave the other newbies—his only friends—behind. But you can’t be on a track team and not run. So Coach asks Sunny what he wants to do. Sunny’s answer? Dance. Yes, dance. But you also can’t be on a track team and dance. Then, in a stroke of genius only Jason Reynolds can conceive, Sunny discovers a track event that encompasses the hard hits of hip-hop, the precision of ballet, and the showmanship of dance as a whole: the discus throw. As Sunny practices the discus, learning when to let go at just the right time, he’ll let go of everything that’s been eating him up inside, perhaps just in time.
Jason Reynolds is the author of When I Was the Greatest, for which he won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. His debut middle grade book, As Brave As You, was awarded the 2016 Kirkus Prize for young readers'. His other works include Boy in the Black Suit, and All American Boys.
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Title:SunnyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:April 10, 2018Publisher:Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1481450212

ISBN - 13:9781481450218

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great story! This is another great story in the Track series. This book has a different form from the other two books. Sunny tells his story through his diary entries (and yes, it is a diary, not a journal. He makes that clear at the beginning). He speaks directly to his diary about what is going on in his life, so it seems like he’s speaking directly to the reader. Like all of the main characters in this series, Sunny has a unique family situation. He lives with his father, who he calls by his first name, Darryl. Sunny’s mother died while giving birth to him. Darryl has always felt like Sunny should take his mother’s place, because he replaced her in the world, so he made Sunny follow his mother’s dream of running. But the problem is that running was what Sunny’s mother dreamed of doing, not Sunny. In this story, Sunny has to embrace his own dream of dancing, and with the help of Coach he discovers a way to bring dance into his track life. I loved this story! I can’t wait to read the next one! I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Date published: 2018-05-08

Read from the Book

Sunny 1 Friday Dear Diary, It’s been a while. And because you’re back, because I brought you back (after spiraling your backbone back into place)—backity back back back—Aurelia, for some reason, feels like she needs to be introduced to you all over again. Like she don’t know you. Like she don’t remember you. But I do. So we don’t have to shake hands and do the whole “my name is” thing. But Aurelia might need to do that. Today she asked me if I still call you Diary, or if I call you Journal now. Or maybe Notebook. I told her Diary. I’ve always called you that. Because I like Diary. Notebook, no. And Dear Journal doesn’t really work the same. Doesn’t do it for me. Dear Diary is better, not just because of the double D alliteration action, but also because Diary reminds me of the name Darryl, so at least I feel like I’m talking to an actual someone. And Darryl reminds me of the word “dairy,” and “dairy” and “diary” are the same except for where i is. And I like dairy. At least milk. I can’t drink a lot of it, which you know, because it makes my stomach feel like it’s full of glue, which you also know. But I like it anyway. Because I’m weird. Which you definitely know. You know I like weird stuff. And everything about milk is weird. Even the word “milk,” which I think probably sounds like what milk sounds like when you guzzle it. Milkmilkmilkmilkmilk. I should start over.

Editorial Reviews

As in Reynolds’s two previous novels in the Track series (Ghost, rev. 11/16; Patina, rev. 11/17), sports aren’t really the point here—certainly not for Sunny, the team’s best miler, who decides, just as he’s about to win a race, that he doesn’t want to be a runner and, in fact, never did. Coach’s subsequent suggestion that he take up the discus instead is cannily reflected in the novel’s structure, a series of diary entries that each spin around another incident or memory, cumulatively revealing the tragic origins of Sunny’s track career. The incantatory leanings of the prose sometimes tend toward repetitiveness, but the slow build of the story allows Sunny’s strengths and vulnerabilities to gain him a place in our hearts. When he finally throws the discus in competition—on the last page, no less—we are completely with him.