Review of Sunny Parker Is Here to Stay

Sunny Parker Is Here to Stay Sunny Parker Is Here to Stay
by Margaret Finnegan
Intermediate    Atheneum    288 pp.
4/24    9781665930086    $17.99
e-book ed.  9781665930109    $10.99

Eleven-year-old Sunny Parker lives with her father, the manager and handyman of Del Mar Garden Apartments, an affordable housing complex. She had anticipated that the summer before middle school would be boring but is propelled into activism when she realizes that protests against a new housing project oppose the people in her own community. Despite her father’s desire that she stay out of things, Sunny starts a petition in support of the new housing project with best friend and neighbor, Haley. Through her interactions with those from various economic backgrounds and with an array of family structures, and abilities, Sunny’s understanding of the world around her expands, and she finds the courage to stand up for others. A conversation with Haley, who is Black, helps Sunny recognize her white privilege, although the girls share similar circumstances: “I didn’t feel like anyone’s past was determining my future. I may have lost my mom, but I still blended in around town, even with my used clothes.” Though the story thoughtfully tackles serious topics such as domestic violence and structural racism, Sunny’s hopeful perspective and commitment to community care enhance the swiftly paced narrative. Ultimately, Sunny’s journey is a celebration of the power of empathy, intergenerational friendships, and collective action—potentially inspiring readers to create positive change.

From the May/June 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Kristine Techavanich

Kristine Techavanich is a youth services librarian at the Timberland Regional Library System. She served on the 2023 Newbery committee.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.
Sorry, your comment has been flagged as spam and won’t be posted. If you feel you’ve gotten this message in error, try resubmitting with fewer URLs included.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.