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SUNNY SIDE UP by Marion Roberts


by Marion Roberts

Age Range: 9 - 14

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-385-73672-5
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

An upside-down antic adventure set in Melbourne, Australia, presents 11-year-old only child Sunny Hathaway, a reluctant, good-natured keeper of family secrets. Summer means Christmas in Australia, spent with her divorced mother, her mother’s boyfriend and, appallingly, his two quarrelsome sons. All the while she has to keep her Friday-night business Pizza-A-Go-Girl running with best friend Claud(ia) and wonder if she should answer Granny Carmelene Aberdeen’s invitation for a visit. Sunny’s mum, who is well-meaning but can’t stop sneaking cigarettes, has forbidden her daughter to see Granny Carmelene, on account of a long-simmering falling-out; dutiful, confused Sunny does go, however, and learns the dear old antiquarian is dying of cancer. Meanwhile, Claud has gone boy-crazy for seriously messed-up Buster Conroy, Sunny’s father is having a baby with new wife, Steph, and Sunny’s greyhound, Willow, is not taking to this “modern blended family” any better than Sunny is. Decorated throughout with antipodean vernacular, Roberts’s glib, tangential, first-person narrative promises—and delivers—moments of charming girlhood transition and pathos. (Fiction. 9-14)