March 7, 2011
Read the review after the break.
Neri, G. (2010). Yummy: The last days of a southside shorty. New York, NY: Lee & Low Books.
Robert “Yummy” Sandifer was only 11-years-old when he landed on the cover of time magazine. The youngster had gotten caught up in Chicago’s gang life, and in a turf war accidentally killed a 14-year-old bystander. The narrator, a fictional classmate of Yummy, tries to come to terms with the teddy bear carrying shorty and the cold-blooded killer on the run. Neri, and illustrator, Randy DuBurke, bring this real-life story to life with a stark, and grim black-and-white. The briefness of the title will appeal to reluctant readers, while the dense ethical questions will challenge them. The writer and narrator are looking for answers, but unlike the drawings, they aren’t black and white. Recommended for 6th grade and up, although the gang violence may be mature for some younger readers.