2011 Coretta Scott King Author Honor & 2011 ALA Notable Book
and 2011 Great Graphic Novels for Teens book
Yummy is based on the true story of Robert “Yummy” Sandifer who lived and died tragically in Chicago 1994. The story is seen through the eyes of a fictional character Roger, whose objective distance helps us as the reader to follow Yummy’s downfall. G. Neri does a fantastic job telling this story, it is positively gripping. According to his website, his goal is to reach reluctant readers, especially males who may be involved in gangs. Interestingly, the writing began as a screenplay , and the book reads much like story board for a short film. Randy DuBurke’s illustrations are gritty and capture the feeling in black and white of a hot Chicago summer.
This is a tragic story. It begs the question, was Yummy a victim or a thug? How could a boy nicknamed for his love of sweets be a killer? This a thought-provoking, conversation starting work. We follow Yummy through his last days, knowing what will happen to him but wishing it won’t.
G. Neri gently weaves in positivity by depicting the narrator Roger and his family. This is a sad story, but not without hope for the change this could bring to a reluctant reader’s life.
To quote Roger, “I don’t know which was worse, the way Yummy lived or the way he died”.
-Marie Penny, currently reading My Boyfriend is a Monster
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