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Sunny Rolls the Dice

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Sunny Rolls the Dice Book Poster Image
Funny graphic novel tale of friendship, '70s middle school.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Sunny Rolls the Dice offers opportunities to discuss what it means to be popular and whether that concept is useful or not. Shows what's fun and worthwhile about the game Dungeons & Dragons.

Positive Messages

It's OK to enjoy pastimes that aren't popular with other kids. Middle school can be confusing, but there will be people willing to help you out. Longtime friendships should be maintained and nurtured.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sunny is bright, enthusiastic, loyal, and friendly. She's conflicted about middle school popularity -- wanting to fit in, but also almost ready to go her own way. Sunny is white, and her diverse friends include Arun, who's South Asian, Lev, an Orthodox Jew, and Regina, who has brown skin.

Violence

Minor fantasy swordplay.

Sex

A boy awkwardly flirts with Sunny at the skating rink.

Language
Consumerism

The plot focuses on Dungeons & Dragons role playing games.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sunny Rolls the Dice is a funny and affecting middle-grade graphic novel by author Jennifer L. Holm and illustrator Matthew Holm (Babymouse and Squish), the third in a series that began with Sunny Side Up. Here Sunny finds middle school confusing and wants to make new friends and keep the old ones. Sunny is white, and her friends include include Arun, who's South Asian; Lev, an Orthodox Jew; and Regina, who has brown skin. There are tiny touches of fantasy violence and awkward flirting. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bygsidi001 October 20, 2019
Kid, 12 years old October 22, 2019

very unique

it is very good and is focused on a board game

What's the story?

As SUNNY ROLLS THE DICE opens, Sunny has made it to middle school but finds the situation confusing. It's the mid-1970s, and her friends seem obsessed with what's cool and what's not. Sunny doesn't find boys, clothes, and makeup as fascinating as they do. When she's invited to join a game of Dungeons & Dragons, though, she enjoys swordfighting and killing giant spiders. Can she play fantasy games and still be cool? And is being cool really all that important?

Is it any good?

The transition to middle school is often fraught with anxiety, and this low-key but highly enjoyable graphic novel captures its main character's search for meaningful friendships in the disco era. Sunny Rolls the Dice is the third installment in Jennifer M. Holm and Matthew Holm's Sunny series. While not the most action-packed of the bunch, it does have its fair share of funny comedy bits and revealing character moments. Sunny's quest for cool will appeal to a wide range of readers and will leave them ready for the next installment. Good-natured, charming, and a little insecure, Sunny is a bright spot on the comics scene.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Sunny Rolls the Dice and how the book treats gaming enthusiasts. Is it unusual for a girl to participate in role playing games?

  • What does it mean to be popular in middle school? What products do kids buy in order to seem more popular?

  • Do you find it tough to make new friends while staying close to the old ones?

Book details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love graphic novels and books about middle school

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