Sunny by Jason Reynolds

cover image

The Run Team, Ghost, Patina, Sunny and Lu have been chosen for their particular abilities and they all know Sunny can’t be beaten in long distance running events. It is coming up for Sunny’s thirteenth birthday but that is also his mother’s death day, the day she died giving birth to him, a difficult day to remember. She was a runner too and Sunny’s father always tells him he must run for his mother and how proud she would have been of his success. When Sunny stops running in the middle of a race it is because winning doesn’t feel right anymore but he can’t explain it. He tells the coach he would rather dance. Aurelia, Sunny’s home-school teacher, had suggested Sunny put his feelings down in a diary rather than yelling and so now, with feelings going 'boing boing in my brain' he starts again. Through the diary Sunny teases out his feelings; his relationship with his father, his reliance on his teammates, the only friends he has. The diary helps examine big feelings which supports big conversations with loved ones with humour and fun wordplay. When the coach comes up with a way for Sunny to make new moves and stay in the team it is the team support that helps Sunny find his way forward. This, the third in the Track series is a great addition, dedicated ‘To the weirdos'.

Themes: Athletics, Friendship, Family relationships, Death of a parent, Teamwork.

Sue Speck