- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted July 18, 2011
The protagonist is an eleven-year-old male, yet his story seems to be that of an older teen or person in young adulthood. As the reader follows Yummy's life he or she will be exposed to the type of life many youth are faced with. If you are unaware of the life of Yummy (a nickname for the main character) this graphic novel will be educational and enlightening. *Well written. *Emotional. * Informative reading.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 21, 2011
Response to Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty
Yummy was one of the easiest readings I have ever taken on. I read it twice to make sure I didn't miss a single detail! Robert "Yummy" Sandifer's life and death are told through a nontraditional comic text layout. The illustrations and pertinent, selected text grab your attention from the very beginning and never let you out of the story. The author, G. Neri, used several sources, including public records, media reports, and personal accounts, to recreate the story with some fictional events to fill missing information. I loved following Yummy's life, from being raised by parents who frequented jail and abused their children to running the streets with a prominent Chicago gang known as the Black Disciples to his untimely death at the young age of 11. Yummy grew up through a troubled life and most times had to fend for himself by thieving others and running from the law. Neri's words, coupled with Randy DuBurke's illustrations, paint a story with multiple sides. The reader is faced with the issue of whether to be angry at Yummy for the criminal life (shoplifting, burglary, violence & murder) he partakes in or to feel sorry for his lack of guidance (criminal and drug abusing parents, lack of help from the correctional institutions he frequented, or the moral less gang he joined and called family) which resulted in his wayward path to death at the hands of the Black Disciples (the gang he called family). If you are a visual learner, this book is for you! Without the illustrations, this is just another report on a child's life ravaged by gang influences and violence. G. Neri is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and new media producer from Los Angeles. Neri worked with the inner-city youth and taught in South Central Los Angeles. When the events of Yummy's story first started to unfold in 1994, Neri was teaching students that hailed from dysfunctional homes, had families similar to Yummy's and lived lives marred by gang related violence and death. He notes that he "even worked with a teen who, when he wasn't around gangs, acted like any sweet, innocent kid. But on the streets, he had already become a hard-core gangbanger" (Neri, pg. 95). I believe the reason why Neri wrote this particular text was because he related so closely to the situation and circumstances surrounding Yummy and his life. Neri didn't tell the story through one source however. Instead, he created Roger who tells the story as Yummy's friend in the Roseland area of Chicago and tries to guide readers to make sense of the events that occurred. References Neri, G. (2010). Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty. New York: Lee & Low Books Inc.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 1, 2011
What a Graphic Novel Should Be
Yummy was really moving. No kidding, I welled up at the end. G Neri did a nice job with the story and the narrative, using the POV of a fellow kid in Yummy's neighborhood. And the art was great! Good visual storytelling, and a really nice feel to the art that not only reflects the time and place in which the story takes place, but also has a gritty yet personal feel for the characters and subject matter.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 5, 2010
Gritty, real, accessible...a must read
Graphic novels published by mainstream book publishers are a tough sell for me, for many reasons: I usually sense they don't understand the market, and have editorial understanding of the genre. Art placement - that is, the juxtaposition of the art and storyline, how each advances the other, is a difficult task for most of them, even with a skilled graphic storyteller.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
How refreshing to be wrong once in a while! This book is engrossing, and real. There is fine character development, well rendered and with a great narrative, and it is visually interesting and exciting. In fact, the stark black and white images, thanks to the great detail and deliberateness of the artist (not at the expense of subtlety when called for) goes a long way to really make this story accessible. Life is like that: Deliberate, but with nuances thrown in, each making us choose a different path.
Yummy is real. Not just the story, but the character. Neri and DeBurke are a terrific combo and have created a satisfying and emotionally evocative story with this graphic novel, which will hopefully create a new standard to which future graphic novels can be held.
Get this book!
Posted October 3, 2010
A story to linger with you
What a powerful story! I started reading and couldn't put it down. The story of Yummy is such a dark tragedy, and I have found that my mind keeps drifting back to his story, long after I had finished.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
There aren't very many books out there that tell the true stories of this minority of children -- children who are forced to grow up too fast, and who have to fight to survive. I teach in a neighborhood not quite as gritty as Yummy's, but very close. There hasn't been a single day yet where I haven't been greeted by police cars near the entrance of the school. Yummy reminded me of many of the children who walk in and out of our doors every day. The character was both innocent and guilty, adult and childlike, angry and scared. it's rare to find books where characters are that 3 dimensional. I was reading about a real boy, who existed, and I felt like I knew him as I was reading. So many characters in books for teens are caricatures of real people. There's the mean girls, the nerds, the jocks, etc. However, the impression I felt after reading Yummy was that I was reading a story about somebody I knew. Because of that-the tragedy of the story struck a deeper chord in me. I am certain that middle grade readers, with this book in their hands, would read with their eyes wide open, and a mind bursting with much to say about it afterwards.
I appreciated the author's approach to the book. He didn't just cover the facts, but he went further back-to his childhood, his parents, his teddy bear, and his home. There were so many complex factors that went into what happened in the story. The narrator states at one point, "Which one was the real Yummy?" Was it the cruel bully who terrorized the neighborhood? Or was it the child, excited by candy and frogs? It made me think-what were the stories of the other people around me? The ones I hear about on the news, or see on the streets? I think the value of a book like Yummy is that it leaves such an impression on the reader that it moves you to change your perspective. There aren't many books that accomplish that, particularly in the middle grade fiction arena.
I would highly recommend this book to teens, 11 and older. Additionally, I'd recommend it to any adult as well! This book will spark discussions, arguments, and most importantly, change.
Posted April 4, 2011
No text was provided for this review.