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Review of Sunny

Sunny [Track]
by Jason Reynolds
Intermediate, Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    163 pp.
4/18    978-1-4814-5021-8    $16.99
e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5023-2    $10.99

As in Reynolds’s two previous novels in the Track series (Ghost, rev. 11/16; Patina, rev. 11/17), sports aren’t really the point here — certainly not for Sunny, the team’s best miler, who decides, just as he’s about to win a race, that he doesn’t want to be a runner and, in fact, never did. Coach’s subsequent suggestion that he take up the discus instead is cannily reflected in the novel’s structure, a series of diary entries that each spin around another incident or memory, cumulatively revealing the tragic origins of Sunny’s track career. The incantatory leanings of the prose sometimes tend toward repetitiveness, but the slow build of the story allows Sunny’s strengths and vulnerabilities to gain him a place in our hearts. When he finally throws the discus in competition — on the last page, no less — we are completely with him.

From the July/August 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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