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Sunny Rolls the Dice

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Too cool for school . . . or the least groovy girl in the grade? Sunny's just made it to middle school . . . and it's making her life very confusing. All her best friend Deb wants to talk about is fashion, boys, makeup, boys, and being cool. Sunny's not against any of these things, but she also doesn't understand why suddenly everything revolves around them. She's much more Too cool for school . . . or the least groovy girl in the grade? Sunny's just made it to middle school . . . and it's making her life very confusing. All her best friend Deb wants to talk about is fashion, boys, makeup, boys, and being cool. Sunny's not against any of these things, but she also doesn't understand why suddenly everything revolves around them. She's much more comfortable when she's in her basement, playing Dungeons & Dragons with a bunch of new friends. Because when you're sword fighting and spider-slaying, it's hard to worry about whether you look cool or not. Especially when it's your turn to roll the 20-sided die. Trying hard to be cool can make you feel really uncool . . .


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Too cool for school . . . or the least groovy girl in the grade? Sunny's just made it to middle school . . . and it's making her life very confusing. All her best friend Deb wants to talk about is fashion, boys, makeup, boys, and being cool. Sunny's not against any of these things, but she also doesn't understand why suddenly everything revolves around them. She's much more Too cool for school . . . or the least groovy girl in the grade? Sunny's just made it to middle school . . . and it's making her life very confusing. All her best friend Deb wants to talk about is fashion, boys, makeup, boys, and being cool. Sunny's not against any of these things, but she also doesn't understand why suddenly everything revolves around them. She's much more comfortable when she's in her basement, playing Dungeons & Dragons with a bunch of new friends. Because when you're sword fighting and spider-slaying, it's hard to worry about whether you look cool or not. Especially when it's your turn to roll the 20-sided die. Trying hard to be cool can make you feel really uncool . . .

30 review for Sunny Rolls the Dice

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tucker

    Many thanks to Scholastic Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review As expected, I loved it. Sunny and her friends have always been close to my heart. Especially because I came across the graphic novel series when I was going through an especially rough time. (I mean when am I not but you know what I mean). This book delivered the humor and love that every previous book has. I loved the topic of "Grooviness" and seeing Sunny explore her idea of being cool and what that meant Many thanks to Scholastic Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review As expected, I loved it. Sunny and her friends have always been close to my heart. Especially because I came across the graphic novel series when I was going through an especially rough time. (I mean when am I not but you know what I mean). This book delivered the humor and love that every previous book has. I loved the topic of "Grooviness" and seeing Sunny explore her idea of being cool and what that meant for her. Four strong stars! Highly recommended! | Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest | Buy

  2. 4 out of 5

    Manybooks

    While Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm's graphic novel Sunny Rolls the Dice is of course and naturally from its content and storyline squarely situated in the late 1970s and early 1980s (and yes, as a child and teenager of that time, I also do very fondly remember playing Dungeons and Dragons, not ever as religiously and as avidly and with all of the diverse paraphernalia that Sunny and her friends did, but yes, we often played D & D during lunchtime at school and indeed sometimes even While Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm's graphic novel Sunny Rolls the Dice is of course and naturally from its content and storyline squarely situated in the late 1970s and early 1980s (and yes, as a child and teenager of that time, I also do very fondly remember playing Dungeons and Dragons, not ever as religiously and as avidly and with all of the diverse paraphernalia that Sunny and her friends did, but yes, we often played D & D during lunchtime at school and indeed sometimes even during French and Social Studies classes and of course much to our teachers' justifiable and righteous chagrin, but especially in Junior High, French in particular was so boringly and simplistically taught that in oder for me to manage to stay awake, D & D was in fact sometimes required) what I have indeed found both problematic and at the time also rather reassuring with regard to Sunny Rolls the Dice is that whatever Sunny has to consider and deal with during Middle School is not only important and necessary for her (or my) time as a young teenager of the 70s and 80s but is also still totally relevant today both in reality and in literature or movies (scenarios like for example Sunny growing increasingly away from her best friend Deb, that while Sunny does not yet want her life dominated by questions of liking boys for anything other than simple playmates and Dungeons and Dragons sparring partners, Deb is beginning to be totally into boys as romance material, that she is carving fashion, new hairdos, shopping, getting her ears pierced, looking and being "cool" and "groovy"). And with this I basically mean to say that even though Sunny Rolls the Dice has been a for me personally sweetly (and sometimes also a trifle painfully) nostalgic look at my own life as a young teenager, albeit that hot rollers, Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, Dungeons and Dragons, roller skating derbies etc. are content wise way way over thirty years old, the thematics of how to manage the rules of Middle School, of how to deal with friendships emerging and waning, how to fit in or whether to decide to go your own way and not really care what your friends think, that is as important now as it was then, and yes, I do highly recommend Sunny Rolls the Dice as a wonderful continuation of the Holms' Sunny series (and I do hope that there will be more Sunny graphic novels and that I will continue to be enchanted with and by them).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I continue to enjoy the Sunny series and especially appreciate the 1970s nostalgia. However, reading this almost immediately after the Raina Telgemeier books makes me realize it's just not in the same league -- which just goes to show how great a range there is in my three star reviews...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Copy provided by the publisher Sunny is still struggling with middle school in the 1970s. She reads all of the teen magazines with her best friend Deb and attempts to be "groovy", but feels she falls short in all areas, and doesn't understand why Deb is so interested in boys. When she meets a group of boys from the neighborhood who invite the two to play Dungeons and Dragons, Sunny really gets into the game, even though it is confusing at first. However, the more interested in the game Sunny Copy provided by the publisher Sunny is still struggling with middle school in the 1970s. She reads all of the teen magazines with her best friend Deb and attempts to be "groovy", but feels she falls short in all areas, and doesn't understand why Deb is so interested in boys. When she meets a group of boys from the neighborhood who invite the two to play Dungeons and Dragons, Sunny really gets into the game, even though it is confusing at first. However, the more interested in the game Sunny gets, the less interested Deb gets, and soon the girls drop out. They are involved in carnation delivery to classrooms, "liking" different boys, and preparing for school dances. Deb really wants to save up for a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans and get her ears pierced, but Sunny realizes that she would rather spend her money on a D&D character figurine. Eventually, Sunny returns to the game, but is able to stay friends with Deb as well. Strengths: The Sunny graphic novels are my absolute favorite; they have the perfect mix of pictures and decently large text, they cover serious issues with a light touch, and have great characters. I have a group of students who are absolutely sure I can teach them to play D&D (Picky Reader did pick up this skill in college), but my essential fandom in middle school was Little House on the Prairie. This will be a popular choice with everyone! Weaknesses: I could have used more of the grandfather in this story-- he's my favorite! What I really think: I am pretty sure that Ms. Holm would have been my friend in middle school; I, too, read the magazines but was never successful at replicating the outfits. I love that the 1970s details are all over this story, but it is still an absolutely timeless tale of fitting in and standing out in middle school. Five disco balls!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    It is interesting to notice how many books about middle school have to do with trying to figure out the rules of middle school. And it is so true. There are so many unwritten rules that somehow the other girls know, instinctively, and we, who don’t, can’t figure out what all the fuss is about. Poor Sunny doesn’t understand why playing Dungeons and Dragons with the boys is not fun for her best friend, who tells her she should be doing other things, like make-up and boys, and “girly” things. What I It is interesting to notice how many books about middle school have to do with trying to figure out the rules of middle school. And it is so true. There are so many unwritten rules that somehow the other girls know, instinctively, and we, who don’t, can’t figure out what all the fuss is about. Poor Sunny doesn’t understand why playing Dungeons and Dragons with the boys is not fun for her best friend, who tells her she should be doing other things, like make-up and boys, and “girly” things. What I love about this story is that Sunny realizes what she really loves in the end, and sticks to it. Often, girls will give up something they love because of those unwritten rules. Hooray for Sunny for figuring it out.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Very episodic, but fun! There's no sense of purposeful rude treatment by Sunny's friends even as their interests diverge. Friends grow apart sometimes without it being cruel and that's okay!

  7. 5 out of 5

    laura (bookies & cookies)

    I finished and reviewed an arc before it's published???? What a concept. I can see why the kiddos love this and other realistic series (even though this is set FIFTY years in the past, weren't the 70s like 30 years ago? right?). Sunny rates herself on the "groovy meter" throughout the book, but really she's rating herself by her friends' standards and not her own. She begins to play D&D, while she had already begun comics back in book #1. Fun. Also, Dale is doing better in this book, so good I finished and reviewed an arc before it's published???? What a concept. I can see why the kiddos love this and other realistic series (even though this is set FIFTY years in the past, weren't the 70s like 30 years ago? right?). Sunny rates herself on the "groovy meter" throughout the book, but really she's rating herself by her friends' standards and not her own. She begins to play D&D, while she had already begun comics back in book #1. Fun. Also, Dale is doing better in this book, so good news all around.

  8. 5 out of 5

    orangerful

    3.5 stars - Not quite as strong as the other two Sunny books, but maybe that is because the subject matter never got quite as serious. But that's okay too because if you're a kid with a pretty healthy home life, then just getting older can be serious and stressful. Sunny and her guy friends all start playing D&D together around the same time her girl friends are starting to become more interested in dating and "what's groovy". It's cute and actually the drama is very low-key, but I know this 3.5 stars - Not quite as strong as the other two Sunny books, but maybe that is because the subject matter never got quite as serious. But that's okay too because if you're a kid with a pretty healthy home life, then just getting older can be serious and stressful. Sunny and her guy friends all start playing D&D together around the same time her girl friends are starting to become more interested in dating and "what's groovy". It's cute and actually the drama is very low-key, but I know this is a struggle for us lady nerds as we try to decide between fitting in with other girls or embracing our geeky side, even if it means hanging out with boys. I am glad that the boys never seemed to think it was "weird" that Sunny wanted to play D&D. They were happy to have her there.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christine Fitzgerald

    I loved this book because it took me back to my childhood years filled with roller skates, tape decks, and board games in basements.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    No matter how long it's been, middle school still hurts. This book absolutely captures that.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    I love that it’s a book about not being cool in middle school. Sunny figures out how to be true to herself and play D & D with the neighborhood boys. I think my fourth graders will love this one too. (Although they won’t get the 70s references like I did.)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Dix

    I just love this series but book #1 will forever remain in my heart (Gramps!). Kids will enjoy this historical look at middle school in the 70s.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    This is a cute story, about a middle schooler in the 70s who doesn't fit in with her childhood girlfriends anymore. Instead, she finds a group of nerdy guys and finds she LOVES playing D&D. I didn't much like how some of the characters were drawn.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Oh the sting of middle school when you aren't ready to be a boy crazy fashionista!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    Middle school, 1977. Sunny takes a "groovy quiz" in a teen magazine and realize she is not always groovy! Things are starting to change with her best friend Deb, who is suddenly very interested in boys and shopping and clothes, etc... Sunny enjoys those things too, but not as much as Deb. When a group of boys from the neighborhood invite her to play Dungeons and Dragons with them, she goes with Deb to play. At first she finds the game confusing, but after a while really gets into it and loves Middle school, 1977. Sunny takes a "groovy quiz" in a teen magazine and realize she is not always groovy! Things are starting to change with her best friend Deb, who is suddenly very interested in boys and shopping and clothes, etc... Sunny enjoys those things too, but not as much as Deb. When a group of boys from the neighborhood invite her to play Dungeons and Dragons with them, she goes with Deb to play. At first she finds the game confusing, but after a while really gets into it and loves playing it. Deb does not enjoy it quite as much and eventually drops out of the group. Sunny really notices the change in their relationship when Deb wants them to save their money for a new pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, but Sunny realizes that she would rather spend her money on a D&D character figurine. Sunny is torn between her friendship with Deb and being groovy and playing Dungeons and Dragons with the boys. She struggles with this and makes the decision not to play it anymore. But she misses it and eventually returns to the game. Luckily she is able to stay friends with Deb showing what a good friendship is like, where each girl is allowed to pursue their own interests while still remaining friends. I enjoyed reading about Sunny and her struggle to figure out the unwritten rules of middle school. Her comparisons to the groovy meter were pretty funny. In the end, Sunny realizes what she really loves (playing Dungeons and Dragons), and sticks to it even if her friends don't think it's groovy. I was so happy to see that she went back to it and didn't give it up because it wasn't cool. This sends a good message to middle school girls. I think this a great graphic novels that middle school girls will really enjoy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Sanchez

    I gave this one four stars because I grew up in the 70s, and I can really relate to the D&D. Although I wasn't addicted to the game, I tried to play and had fun fumbling around trying to figure out the directions with all the dice rolling, map making, and unpredictable play. Somewhere in the house I still have a Players Handbook. I lost the Monster Manual. I think I let someone borrow it, and it never came back. Sunny has to find her place in the social environment. As children grow into I gave this one four stars because I grew up in the 70s, and I can really relate to the D&D. Although I wasn't addicted to the game, I tried to play and had fun fumbling around trying to figure out the directions with all the dice rolling, map making, and unpredictable play. Somewhere in the house I still have a Players Handbook. I lost the Monster Manual. I think I let someone borrow it, and it never came back. Sunny has to find her place in the social environment. As children grow into adults, they do so at different rates. I remember the difficulties and awkwardness of this. It was fun reading about how Sunny navigated through these challenges, and I was happy that she chose to do what she liked instead of trying to conform to society's judgment about what was groovy or not. I think students in 5th grade and up will connect to the struggles that Sunny faces in the book, but it is probably more significant to middle school students and early high schoolers. The book is written at a second grade level, so it can be enjoyed all in one sitting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Borgman

    While I think Sunny Side Up is probably the best in the series so far, Rolls the Dice is my favorite... because of D&D! I was (am) totally that kid who spent my Saturdays rolling the dice and spent way too much allowance on miniatures (still do!)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Much less about the brother in here but a great glimpse at the feels of the teen years, friendships and being genuine with your likes and dislikes.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    How is it possible to love Sunny ever more! This book totally proved it! I loved this book!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    So lovely to have another Sunny book. She is now navigating the mysteries of middle school, the issue of friendships changing and finding one's own group of people. Loved the references to the 70's and D&D! Funny how enduring that game is. My own sons played for hours and hours in our basement in the early 90's and my grandsons play now ;-) A total delight!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lupe

    I read this ARC yesterday and loved it on the first page. Holm checks all my boxes, 70s groove, feminist, breaking gender stereotypes, learning how to find your tribe. Etc. I can already think of some readers who will love this one!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hollowspine

    It's always hard when you and your childhood friends start finding different interests and you realize that your paths are diverging. It might be easier to just follow along with the others, and pretend you're interested in the same things, but it's not too fun. In this volume of the Sunny series she discovers that she likes playing Dungeons and Dragons, but her best friend quickly tires of the game and acts like it's only for babies. She'd rather spend her time trying on clothes and makeup, and It's always hard when you and your childhood friends start finding different interests and you realize that your paths are diverging. It might be easier to just follow along with the others, and pretend you're interested in the same things, but it's not too fun. In this volume of the Sunny series she discovers that she likes playing Dungeons and Dragons, but her best friend quickly tires of the game and acts like it's only for babies. She'd rather spend her time trying on clothes and makeup, and talking about boys. When Deb finds out that Sunny spent her money on a D & D figure rather than going with her to buy jeans and get her ears pierced she can't understand it, does Sunny even want to be groovy? The two friends have to figure out if their differences make their friendship better, or are they just going to drift apart? Another great graphic novel from Holm, capturing middle school friendships and troubles perfectly, representing the time period really well, but still keeping it accessible to young readers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kit Feral

    That was SO CUTE

  24. 5 out of 5

    bee

    cute!!!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    This series continues to be marvelous.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Really enjoyed it - and love that she follows her nerdy heart in the end - but what in the world about Deb?! Can’t Sunny love D&D and still find a way to be close to Deb? Sad about that, though maybe it’s realistic?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristin DeGarmo

    I read this one pretty quickly. Not sure how. It’s not as good as the first one but it has an interesting plot. I like that Sunny likes to play D&D even though it wasn’t “groovy” for girls her age during that time (even now I think) to play. I’m glad she listened to her heart and continued to play even though her friend told her it’s babyish to play. It’s hard to tell kids that they can still be and do “babyish” things. Kids want to grow up so fast and they’re so focused on becoming older I read this one pretty quickly. Not sure how. It’s not as good as the first one but it has an interesting plot. I like that Sunny likes to play D&D even though it wasn’t “groovy” for girls her age during that time (even now I think) to play. I’m glad she listened to her heart and continued to play even though her friend told her it’s babyish to play. It’s hard to tell kids that they can still be and do “babyish” things. Kids want to grow up so fast and they’re so focused on becoming older they forget to be young. Anyway, it’s a good book but I still really like the first book best because the story was more interesting and deep.

  28. 5 out of 5

    tori1713

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I love every book in this series xD, and this one is just as good! I find the first story point of view very interesting, especially Sunny living in 1977, which is a time period I don’t know a lot about, and learning about the “in” things during Sunny’s time, and how Sunny reacts to it. SPOILER: I am also glad Sunny finds some friends that share an interest Sunny grows to love, because middle school is tough, and if you can’t find the right friends, it can’t always be the best SPOILERS DONE: I I love every book in this series xD, and this one is just as good! I find the first story point of view very interesting, especially Sunny living in 1977, which is a time period I don’t know a lot about, and learning about the “in” things during Sunny’s time, and how Sunny reacts to it. SPOILER: I am also glad Sunny finds some friends that share an interest Sunny grows to love, because middle school is tough, and if you can’t find the right friends, it can’t always be the best SPOILERS DONE: I recommend to all ages, but probably 9+.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Doris Gourbere

    This was a tad disappointing. I really enjoyed the first two books of the Sunny Series but this one felt rushed. It seems to me that Sunny still had a few things to resolve with her close friend, Deb, but yet the story moved on quickly to other things... Oh, well! :D

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bookphile

    This book didn't have the same emotional resonance for me as the superb first book in the series did, but this is still a big winner. Holm and Holm tackle a lot of important coming-of-age issues, things like the challenges of maintaining friendships when kids mature at different rates, learning to assert yourself when the things you like to do might be considered less than "groovy" by your peers, and learning how to be true to yourself. As with the other two books, the drawings in this one are This book didn't have the same emotional resonance for me as the superb first book in the series did, but this is still a big winner. Holm and Holm tackle a lot of important coming-of-age issues, things like the challenges of maintaining friendships when kids mature at different rates, learning to assert yourself when the things you like to do might be considered less than "groovy" by your peers, and learning how to be true to yourself. As with the other two books, the drawings in this one are colorful and appealing, and Sunny remains a winning character. Plus, I always enjoy the total immersion in 70s pop culture that comes with these books, even though I was a child of the 80s and not the 70s, and I got a good laugh when it mentioned some things from my own childhood I'd forgotten about (such as fluffernutter sandwiches and Love's Baby Soft cologne). I found this a fun, charming book, and I'm certainly on board for more from this series.

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