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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 (TuckerTheReader)

    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 fo 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 | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  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 during F 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

    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.

  4. 5 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... 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...

  5. 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 gets 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!

  6. 4 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

    Leslie

    This was my first Sunny book to read. I just loved the tween angst of being "groovy"!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    In high school, my best friend never tried to tell me we were too old for trick-or-treat. She knew better.

  9. 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 is 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.

  10. 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 news 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.

  11. 5 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.) 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. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

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

  13. 4 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.

  14. 5 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. 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.

  15. 5 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.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars

  17. 4 out of 5

    Janet

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

  18. 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 pl 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.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maddy W.

    I liked this book a lot, but not as much as the other 2. I think the theme of this book is do what YOU love to do. I would recommend if you liked the other 2 in the series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matias.P

    good

  21. 5 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 adults, 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.

  22. 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!) 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!)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Irene McHugh

    Best Sunny story yet! Middle school has never been easy for kids to navigate, but Sunny explores ear piercing, Fluffernutters, cassette tapes, roller skating, mall shopping, earthworm dissecting and so much more. As she plays D&D she even figures out that her vision of fun may not be groovy, but it sure is adventurous. Best Sunny story yet! Middle school has never been easy for kids to navigate, but Sunny explores ear piercing, Fluffernutters, cassette tapes, roller skating, mall shopping, earthworm dissecting and so much more. As she plays D&D she even figures out that her vision of fun may not be groovy, but it sure is adventurous.

  24. 4 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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

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

  26. 4 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! 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!

  27. 5 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!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ryleigh McDonald

    The book “Sunny Rolls The Dice” is a graphic novel by Jennifer and Matthew Holm. This book is about a girl named Sunny who likes to play Dungeons and Dragons but is too afraid to play because of her friend Deb. Sunny cares a lot about Deb’s opinion because she wants to be “Groovy”. Deb is a very girly person who likes to talk about boys and clothes while Sunny, on the other hand, likes to play games like Dungeons and Dragons and doesn’t care that much for boys and clothes. Sunny and Deb start to The book “Sunny Rolls The Dice” is a graphic novel by Jennifer and Matthew Holm. This book is about a girl named Sunny who likes to play Dungeons and Dragons but is too afraid to play because of her friend Deb. Sunny cares a lot about Deb’s opinion because she wants to be “Groovy”. Deb is a very girly person who likes to talk about boys and clothes while Sunny, on the other hand, likes to play games like Dungeons and Dragons and doesn’t care that much for boys and clothes. Sunny and Deb start to drift apart because of they both like different things, but they end up going right back to each other. This time when they become friends again Sunny doesn’t care about what Deb thinks and only cares about her opinion because she wants to feel like herself and she isn’t trying to be what she thought Deb wanted her to be. This book took place in a couple of places. The places it took place was at school and Sunny’s house. The reason I say that it takes place at their school is that that is where they plan out where and when they are going to play dungeons and dragons. Sunny and Deb also talk about typical teenage girl things like clothes, boys, etc. The reason I say that this takes place at Sunny’s house is that that is where they go to play their game. They normally play the game in their basement but one time they had to watch her brother so they played in the kitchen. My favorite part in the book would have to be the part where Sunny goes back to the mall to purchase a Dungeons and Dragons action figure. The reason I say this is because she was going to buy it before but she thought that Deb wouldn’t approve. IN the text it states, “That’s exactly how I picture my character! Except…” This shows that she was thinking about what Deb would thing is she got this character. Eventually Sunny figures out that it shouldn’t matter what Deb thinks and should show who she really is. In the text, it states, “I got a figurine. It’s a fighter like my character.” and Deb says, “Oh, Okay” Deb says this as if she wasn’t happy for Sunny and didn’t want Sunny to get it. On the other hand, Sunny had the courage to not care and get the figurine as she wanted. I would recommend this book to people who like drama and dungeons and dragons. The reason I say Drama is because there is a lot of conflict between all of the characters. As in the characters I mean Deb and her new friends that she plays dungeons and dragons with. There is a conflict between her and her new friends are because she stops playing with them after Deb tells her to stop. The reason I say that there is a conflict between Sunny and Deb is that Deb isn’t accepting the fact about who Sunny is so they get in a fight because Sunny thinks it shouldn’t matter and she should be proud of who she is.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I really enjoyed this one, apparently more than the other books in the Sunny series. I thought it was fun and relatable, easily my favourite of the series so far. I did, however, forget that the other two books took place in the 70s, so I was a little confused by the grooviness in the first chapter. My boyfriend is just starting to get into D&D; he's really into Magic: The Gathering and I sometimes reluctantly play with him (but I hate it. It's boring and convoluted and I'm NOT interested.) He a I really enjoyed this one, apparently more than the other books in the Sunny series. I thought it was fun and relatable, easily my favourite of the series so far. I did, however, forget that the other two books took place in the 70s, so I was a little confused by the grooviness in the first chapter. My boyfriend is just starting to get into D&D; he's really into Magic: The Gathering and I sometimes reluctantly play with him (but I hate it. It's boring and convoluted and I'm NOT interested.) He asked if I'd want to play D&D with him, and it was a resounding NO. I dunno, it just makes me think of MTG and that it'll be boring and convoluted and I'll hate it. Buuuuut this book made me think that maybe it wouldn't be too bad, it made D&D seem interesting and like a fun game to play. And I think it's cool that a kids' graphic novel shows the fun in these games, and will maybe introduce new players to it. Even if it might not be for me, it encourages critical thinking and imagination, and I am all for stereotypical "nerdy" things being cool!

  30. 4 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.

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