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Swing it, Sunny: 01/02/20
Swing it, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm is set in the 1976-1977 school year after her late summer trip to Florida in Sunny Side Up (2015). She's entering middle school and feels both scared and saddened that her reputation is tainted by her brother's time here. He's meanwhile at a military school as part of his post drug abuse recovery plan.
The book is a series of vignettes through the course of the year. Some of them involve her brother — either how he's doing at school — or how his absence is felt at home.
There are two things that have stuck with me most. The first is the news that Al has died in Florida. Sunny imagines that the alligator has died and that the retirement villagers have thrown an elaborate funeral for him. Turns out it's one of the residents, also named Al.
The second vignette involves Sunny buying a gift for her brother and sending it to him at school. It's a pet rock — one of the most quintessential fads of the decade. His growth as a person, and the signs of his recovery are how his reaction to the present change. At first he's annoyed but by the end, he has it proudly displayed.
The third book in the series is Sunny Rolls the Dice which came out October 1st, 2019.