The Holm siblings, Jennifer and Matthew, return to the 1970s with the third installment in their Sunny series, Sunny Rolls the Dice. While the first two deal with heavier topics (namely Sunny’s older brother’s addiction), this one offers a more lighthearted story.

Sunny is surviving middle school, but things are starting to change. Her best friend, Deb, wants to talk about boys and fashion while Sunny feels like the least groovy person in the world. Then, some new friends invite them to play Dungeons and Dragons and Sunny feels like she’s found her place. She’s more comfortable being Aleta the Brave, a fighter, than being boring Sunny Lewin.

As Sunny becomes more involved in Dungeons and Dragons, Deb starts to push her into more of her interests, namely Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, ear piercing, and who to dance with at the Spring Fling. Sunny has to make a decision: stay with Deb doing activities that Deb likes or be herself with her Dungeons and Dragons friends.

The cartoony, bright illustrations will draw juvenile readers in, while the relatable, fun story will keep them reading. The Holm siblings are no stranger to middle grade books or graphic novels (they created the super successful Babymouse series) and it shows. They know what appeals to middle grade readers, but are still authentic and real.

Middle grade readers will find a lot to like in the story of Sunny. Much like Roller Girl by Victoria Jamison or the Real Friends and Best Friends books by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham, this is a story of a young girl finding her place in middle school by being true to herself.

Sunny Rolls the Dice
By Jennifer L. Holm
Art by Matthew Holm
ISBN: 9781338233148
Scholastic Graphix, 2019
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12

  • Lisa

    Past Reviewer

    Lisa Clark has worked at the Kenton County Public Library (KY) since 2005. She’s done a little bit of everything including shelving, working at the reference desk, scheduling, graphic design, editing, grant writing, and more. Currently she works in the children’s department and maintains the collection by weeding and ordering materials. She also leads the adult writers group at the library and writes read alike recommendations for Novelist. With a BA in English Literature from Northern Kentucky University, Lisa has always had a passion for reading. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she likes to run, watch TV shows and movies with her husband, and listen to podcasts.

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