It does not matter when you go to middle school: in the late 1970s like Sunny does in Sunny Rolls the Dice by sister and brother team Jennifer L. Holm (author) and Matthew Holm (illustrator); or in the late 1980s (like I did) or now: it stinks. I mean ostrich egg sized stink. Trying to get groovy points can be hard when you rather play Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) then get Gloria Vanderbilt jeans.
Sunny is just trying to learn the rules to survive middle school. Her friends seem to know them. They know the cool music, the cool clothes, how to get great hair (paging Farrah Fawcett), even the oddest one of them all: you can talk about boys (A LOT) but you cannot play with them. Especially not play things like D&D (even if you are one awesome sword fighting and spider-slaying human warrior).But we do not need to worry about our girl Sunny, she is willing and able and ready to get in there and get her hands dirty. It just might take a few roles of the die to get there!
This is the third book by the Holms in the Sunny series (Sunny Side Up and Swing It, Sunny). While it is stand-alone, it does help to know some of the characters. Having missed Swing It, Sunny, I was not sure who a couple people were and there is a story arc with her older brother Dale. And while a younger reader could read (ages 7 to 9) there are a few issues (especially in the first) that the more sensitive reader might not be able to handle. Therefore, ages 10 to 14 would be the best audience.
Also, if you have a reader who has gone through all the Raina Telgemeier, Shannon Hale or Terri Libenson and they are still wanting more in the graphic novel genre, the Holms are a great series to start. However, adults, Telgemeier, Hale and Holm all are extremely similar in story. Libenson, has a similar storyline, but their execution is different. Only the era and names have changed from series to series. Which is not to say I am not enjoying them or that I will not keep going with these amazing series, I will. Just know that repetition does happen between them.
And PS Gloria Vanderbilt jeans are nice jeans.