In this award-winning graphic novel, Robert “Yummy” Sandifer’s life becomes interwoven with other true events from a period in time where Chicago’s south side was running rampant with gang activity and violence. The year: 1994. Yet, its relevance still holds weight today in urban communities throughout our country. Unfortunately.
Narration and Writer’s Craft
Through third person narration, eleven year old Roger, guides us through the ongoings, thoughts, chaos, family ties, brotherhood, fears, ponderings, love, realities and insecurities most young adolescent males experience.
Roger lives on Normal Street. He addresses what many readers are already thinking: But I guess “normal” is different to different folks.
In studying craft, this one liner opens up dialogue, the use of language and repetition, and the importance of quotation marks in varying situations. Throughout the entire story, you are greeted with on-point vernacular, literary devices, and a storyline that pulls at the heart strings. (Just ask my students.)
Additionally, the incredible illustrations allow us the luxury of experiencing Yummy’s journey through his eyes, Roger’s eyes, and the eyes of all of those that take part in the journey.
It’s pretty loaded.
Essential Ideas and Themes
This gritty exploration of Yummy’s life forces readers (of all ages) to question their own understandings of good and bad, right or wrong, yes vs. no.
It searches for truth.
It provides us with the inner-workings of [the downfall of] self-worth and naturally asks us to question it.
Ultimately, we are challenged to think on a macro level about society; why are so many of our youth feeling forced into a life where statistics are alarmingly glaring?
Yummy is a piece that everyone needs to read. It’s important. It’s relevant. It affords us a window into the lives of so many of our youth. No wonder it has won just under 30 honors and awards. This is one piece of literature you cannot afford to miss.
For more books by G. Neri feel free to visit his website: http://www.gregneri.com