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Sunny

by Jason Reynolds

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Track Series (3)

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6731334,487 (3.92)8
Juvenile Fiction. Juvenile Literature. HTML:Sunny tries to shine despite his troubled past in this third novel in the critically acclaimed Track series from National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds.
Ghost. Patina. Sunny. Lu. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds, with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track teamâ??a team that could take them to the state championships. They all have a lot to lose, but they all have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Sunny is the main character in this novel, the third of four books in Jason Reynold's electrifying middle grade series.

Sunny is just thatâ??sunny. Always ready with a goofy smile and something nice to say, Sunny is the chillest dude on the Defenders team. But his life hasn't always been sun beamy-bright. You see, Sunny is a murderer. Or at least he thinks of himself that way. His mother died giving birth to him, and based on how Sunny's dad treats himâ??ignoring him, making Sunny call him Darryl, never "Dad"â??it's no wonder Sunny thinks he's to blame. It seems the only thing Sunny can do right in his dad's eyes is win first place ribbons running the mile, just like his mom did. But Sunny doesn't like running, never has. So he stops. Right in the middle of a race.

With his relationship with his dad now worse than ever, the last thing Sunny wants to do is leave the other newbiesâ??his only friendsâ??behind. But you can't be on a track team and not run. So Coach asks Sunny what he wants to do. Sunny's answer? Dance. Yes, dance. But you also can't be on a track team and dance. Then, in a stroke of genius only Jason Reynolds can conceive, Sunny discovers a track event that encompasses the hard beats of hip-hop, the precision of ballet, and the showmanship of dance as a whole: the discus throw. But as he practices for this new event, can he let go of everything that's been eat
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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
For as long as Sunny can remember, his dad has been urging him to run, to train harder, to get stronger. Sunny's mother died when Sunny was born, and his dad wants to see Sunny achieve her dream of winning a marathon. And Sunny's good at running, no question. It's just that he kind of hates it. Sunny has other dreams -- but he also has the best friends of his life on the track team, and he doesn't want to quit. Can Coach find a solution?

This third book in the series did not work for me. It's in diary format, and it suffers from the same issues that I've seen in other books for this format. For instance, there are several entries detailing the events of a track meet. Are we supposed to believe that Sunny brought his secret diary to the meet and whipped it out to write in every few minutes? And other entries are much more believable in terms of voice -- they're basically stream-of-consciousness -- but I just don't love Sunny's narrative voice the way I expected to. As one might expect by now, the book ends on a mild cliffhanger. All in all, I can see myself recommending this series to kids interested in sports books, but I won't revisit it. ( )
  foggidawn | Jul 11, 2022 |
Solid book 3 from the track series, this time focusing on Sunny and all the things he does not say to the world. It's a little harder to immediately relate to than the previous 2 books, partly because there's spaces in the diary format that cause things to jump a bit, partly because Sunny's home-schooled life is so different from the other kids' school stories, and finally because Sunny thinks in sound effects a lot, which takes some getting used to. Still, the story is strong, and it's good to know where Sunny is coming from. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
Very weak effort. Disliked the format of "Dear Diary" and Sunny's voice, which sounded fake/contrived. The book jumped all over the place, and because Sunny was homeschooled, there was little else to do but agonize over Sunny's problems at home. The only highlight was Sunny finally doing something just for herself. This series has really gone downhill. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
children's fiction (3rd grade and up as a read-aloud, 4th and up as a read-alone--Sunny's spoken-word poetry style of writing will take a more seasoned reader to make sense of, but the themes he deals with are easy to feel for--deceased mother, withdrawn father, lonely homeschooled kid)

Book 3 in the "Track" series stands on its own, but you're going to want to read them all anyway and might as well read them in order.

Sunny is really "weird," as he likes to describe himself, and following his train of thought will amuse you but also endear you. Such a sweet, weird, lovable kid. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Each book in the Track series is told in the first person by a different member of the team. Reynolds writes in a somewhat different style for each character, to give them each their own writing voice. That was a big drawback in this book. The story to be told was good, but the voice was irritating to read. Rather than a straightforward first person narrative, the whole book is diary entries, as in "Dear Diary, I don't know if I ever told you..." I've always found the idea of writing Dear Diary, as though the diary were a person, to be highly affected and silly. Add to that the way Sunny often writes in strings of nonsensical sound effects... "Has a tick or a boom. Or something. Like a tickboom. Or a tick-tick boom. Or a tick-bada-bada-boom-bap-bap-oh. Or..." Yes, that was a direct quote from the book. All to say, the book was not an enjoyable read like the "Ghost" and "Patina" were.

The story being told was good though. Sunny's mother died the day he was born. He's grown up calling his wealthy father "Darryl," and being tutored instead of going to school. His father has never addressed his own grief from the death of his wife, and as such, has not been a warm parent to his son. Always taken good care of him, but never given him the deep personal love Sonny craves. This is the real subject of the book. The whole track aspect (Sonny has always been a runner but starts throwing the discus in this book) feels like a somewhat irrelevant side story to the tale of the boy and his dad coping with their grief.

I've read most of Jason Reynolds' books, and rated all of them before either a 4 or 5 star. This one wasn't up to par with his usual work. ( )
  fingerpost | Dec 5, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jason Reynoldsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lockard, GuyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Juvenile Fiction. Juvenile Literature. HTML:Sunny tries to shine despite his troubled past in this third novel in the critically acclaimed Track series from National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds.
Ghost. Patina. Sunny. Lu. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds, with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track teamâ??a team that could take them to the state championships. They all have a lot to lose, but they all have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Sunny is the main character in this novel, the third of four books in Jason Reynold's electrifying middle grade series.

Sunny is just thatâ??sunny. Always ready with a goofy smile and something nice to say, Sunny is the chillest dude on the Defenders team. But his life hasn't always been sun beamy-bright. You see, Sunny is a murderer. Or at least he thinks of himself that way. His mother died giving birth to him, and based on how Sunny's dad treats himâ??ignoring him, making Sunny call him Darryl, never "Dad"â??it's no wonder Sunny thinks he's to blame. It seems the only thing Sunny can do right in his dad's eyes is win first place ribbons running the mile, just like his mom did. But Sunny doesn't like running, never has. So he stops. Right in the middle of a race.

With his relationship with his dad now worse than ever, the last thing Sunny wants to do is leave the other newbiesâ??his only friendsâ??behind. But you can't be on a track team and not run. So Coach asks Sunny what he wants to do. Sunny's answer? Dance. Yes, dance. But you also can't be on a track team and dance. Then, in a stroke of genius only Jason Reynolds can conceive, Sunny discovers a track event that encompasses the hard beats of hip-hop, the precision of ballet, and the showmanship of dance as a whole: the discus throw. But as he practices for this new event, can he let go of everything that's been eat

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