Sunny Side Up


Sunny Side Up

Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm


Published by Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

Lexile: GN240L

 Excited for the summer, Sunny Lewin was thrown for a loop when she learned that she’d be spending it in Florida with her grandfather.  Hopeful that she’d get to go to Disney world, Sunny was disappointed when she soon finds out that where her grandfather lives is nothing near or like Disney- it’s all old people! Soon after, Sunny meets Buzz, a boy who lives close and loves comic books and adventures. As their friendship grows, Sunny starts to realize that this summer wouldn’t be that bad.  She starts to wonder, though, why is she even in Florida? After uncovering some secrets, Sunny soon finds out.


Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

Suggested Delivery:  Independent Read-Grades 4,5 


The youtube video found here is a great resource which can be used to introduce the text and intrigue the readers.

To demonstrate to students what a 55 and over community is, having students visit this active website for a real 55 and over community in Fort Myers, Florida would be a good way for them to develop a practical understanding of where Sunny spends her summer.

Click here to see this graphic novel’s corresponding discussion guide provided by Scholastic.

Click here for a writing guide for students witten by the authors of Sunny Side Up.

Teaching Suggestions:

  • Vocabulary is an essential part to reading.  One activity which could help students grow their vocabulary alongside of this would be to fill out a chart which includes the word, the definition, and gives the students a space to use the word in a sentence.  The following vocabulary words would work well in this pre-teaching activity:
    • Receptionist: A person who answers the phones and direct visitors in a hotel, office, lodge, apartment complex, doctors office, etc.
    • Association: A group of people organized for a specific purpose
    • Bicentennial:  The two-hundredth anniversary of a significant event
    • Enthusiasm:  A strong excitement or feeling towards something
    • Splurge: To spend a lot of money freely without a worry about the cost
    • Gadget: A useful, often small object or device which does a job
  • Comprehension is the goal in reading.  It is important to focus on comprehension before, during, and after reading a story.  The following activities can be done throughout the journey a student takes reading this book in order to support the level of comprehension reached:
    • Before reading the story, a great activity for students to develop schema related to the story would be to watch the book trailer provided by scholastic.  After viewing, students can make predictions about what will happen in the book.
    • During reading, an activity which will support the student comprehension of would be to have the students explore the second like, which is a website for a 55+ community in Florida (where my grandfather lives, so I know it is credible!!).  This would give students an idea of what this community looks like, and why it would be boring/ disappointing for Sunny to learn that she would be living here instead of in Disney.  Giving the students the opportunity to explore this website would allow them to develop a further understanding of the setting of the story.
    • After reading, having students make their own graphic novel strip at this link provided by scholastic would be a great way to test the student’s comprehension of the plot. This can also be done by pencil and paper. Being able to continue the story onward after finishing reading is a good way to represent understanding.
  • A conclusive writing activity is a great way to wrap up a novel with students.  The following writing prompt question from the discussion guide seen above would be a great way to conclude the novel.
    • “What does Gramps mean when he says “Keep your sunny side up”?”

Click here to visit Amazon and purchase this book.


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