Questions from a Kid: Jennifer Holm

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(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of Questions From a Kid. Today, Zoey chats with author Jennifer Holm.

Zoey first became aware of Jennifer through Sunny Side Up, a recent graphic novel from Scholastic/Graphix that tells the story of Sunny Lewin, a young girl who spends the summer of 1976 with her grandfather in Florida. Jennifer worked on the book with her younger brother, Matthew Holm, who did the art.

24612600Sunny Side Up immediately spoke to me sine it vividly recalled summer trips I took to my own grandparents in Florida during the 80s. They lived in a senior community much like Sunny’s Gramps does, and the book struck an emotional and nostalgic chord with me.

The book deals with some serious themes, though. Sunny is dealing with her own problems surrounding the drug and alcohol use by a family member and her inability to talk about the issues openly. The inner turmoil caused by keeping secrets is a main theme here, and Zoey picked up on it as clear as day. You’ll hear that in some of her questions.

Sunny Side Up is a fantastic book that is absolutely all-ages appropriate . . . as long as you aren’t shy about having a meaningful discussion with your child after reading it. The Holms include a lovely note at the end of the book, directed to young readers, about why they shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed if they’re facing similar pressures. They reiterate that it’s okay to talk to adults about their feelings/fears and that they shouldn’t feel like they need to keep anything bottled up and secret.

This is a message that always bears repeating.

The brother-and-sister duo are also the creators of the Babymouse and Squish graphic novel series, which are now most definitely on our shortlist.

As always, all questions are Zoey’s. I simply prompt her with “clue words” so she can remember. (Make sure you turn on subtitles if you can’t make out Zoey’s questions.)

Thanks so much to Jennifer Holm for taking the time to chat with Zoey and to Sheila Marie Everett at Scholastic who helped arrange the interview.

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