Goodreads: Sunny Makes a Splash
Series: Sunny #4
Age Category: Middle Grade
Summer is here and, to escape babysitter her younger brother, Sunny gets a job serving snacks at the local pool. Watching the older kids flirt is like witnessing a real-life soap opera, too! But Sunny’s mom is having trouble realizing that her child is growing up.
Sunny Makes a Splash is my favorite Sunny yet. Our titular character returns for a delightful summer-themed story set at the local pool. The cute lifeguards, nostalgic snacks, and good old-fashioned fun all feel classic; this is what an American teen’s summer should look like (at least, according to the movies!). I adored the 1970s setting with its fashion, its food, and, yes, its dangerously high diving board. If only I could go on vacation with Sunny next year!
The 1970s setting is no doubt a good deal of the series’ charm, but the books go far beyond raising feelings of nostalgia. Though she is coming of age in another decade, Sunny feels completely relevant. She undergoes the same experiences as contemporary teens, trying to make her mother understand that she is growing up and feeling both interested in and baffled by flirting. Sunny’s easygoing nature is, however, what makes the books such a treat for me. Her unflappable attitude contrasts strongly in this installment with her mother’s worries, to great comedic affect.
Adding to the humor is an appearance by Sunny’s grandfather, who arrives unexpectedly for a visit when his home must undergo renovations. Sunny’s grandfather has always been delightful with his own positive approach to life. He really shines in this book, though, as he starts dating a woman and his daughter (Sunny’s mom) starts treating him like he is another teenager under her roof. Her attempts to send him to his room and impose curfews are hilarious, but her dad takes it all in stride.
Hints of romance also occur in this book for Sunny, which may please some of her readers. I found the potentially budding romance sweet, but was also pleased to see that, for now, Sunny and her love interest appear to be good friends. For what is a great romance built on, if not friendship? Perhaps future books will explore Sunny’s love life more in-depth. But I thought Sunny’s observations of the other workers at the pool–and their slightly convoluted flirting– were as entertaining as they were realistic.
Sunny Makes a Splash is a feel-good book that will transport readers to the ideal summer–an open pool, delicious food, good friends, and the possibility of romance. Absolutely wonderful.