SUNNYSIDE PLAZA is on the Winter 2019-2020 Kids’ Indie Next List!
Wonder meets Three Times Lucky in a story of empowerment as a young woman decides to help solve the mystery of multiple suspicious deaths in her group home.
Publication date: January 2020
Ages 8 and Up
Starred Review from Kirkus
“A tender insight into being different and wonderful.”
– Kirkus, starred review.
Take a look at the great bookseller quotes praising SUNNYSIDE PLAZA:
“Sunnyside Plaza is a light in the shadows that illuminates the humanity in us all. It’s a book as special as its characters. A treasure.”
Jerry Spinelli, Newbery winning author of Maniac Magee and The Warden’s Daughter
“A beautiful book that focuses on empathy, not pity, to introduce readers to a new world. I enjoyed every minute I spent with the characters of Sunnyside Plaza.”
Stacy McAnulty, bestselling author of The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl
From a kid reviewer: “Sunnyside Plaza is an amazing book. The book is a mystery and it is sure to intrigue anyone who reads it. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars. If you liked Braced, I am certain you will like this book too. It’s a great book for kids 9 and older.”
Island Bookstore (Kitty Hawk, NC)
“Like all animals, humans are hardwired to detect differences. Avoiding, fearing, or making fun of differences, though, is a learned behavior. We’re no two alike, so which differences affect our reactions to others? The residents of Sunnyside Plaza are “”different””, but so are the staff, the delivery man, the people on the street. Author and NPR commentator Scott Simon’s novel is aimed at middle-grade readers but is important reading for older teens and adults, too, and will be a great book for group discussions. And you’ll cheer for Sally and her friends as they help the police solve a mystery!”
Susan Posch, The Book Shoppe (Boone, IA)
“Sally lives in a residence for adults with developmental disabilities. She has many friends in the residence. Those outside of this group home think the residents are incapable of thinking and figuring things out. But Sally and the others have talents and abilities that others have not seen. When a couple of the residents die unexpectedly, and the local authorities cannot answer the questions of why and how, Sally and her friends take it upon themselves to solve the mystery. An excellent book about the power of the human spirit, even when some of the people are so different from what would be called “normal.” A must read for all middle readers as they think about people who may be different from themselves.”
Pat Trotter, Bookends On Main (Menomonie, WI)