Cover image for The mighty heart of Sunny St. James
Title:
The mighty heart of Sunny St. James
ISBN:
9780316515535
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
375 pages ; 21 cm.
Summary:
When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a "New Life Plan": 1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; and 3) kiss a boy for the first time. Her "New Life Plan" seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all. With the reemergence of her mother, Sunny begins a journey to becoming the new Sunny St. James.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Copies
Status
Searching...
Book J FICTION BLA 1 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book J FICTION BLA 1 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book J FICTION BLA 1 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book J FICTION BLA 1 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book J FICTION BLA 1 1
Searching...

On Order

Library
Copy
Location
Parts
R.H. Stafford Library (Woodbury)1Received on 3/15/19
Hardwood Creek Library (Forest Lake)1Received on 3/15/19
Oakdale Library1Received on 3/15/19
Park Grove Library (Cottage Grove)1Received on 3/15/19

Summary

Summary

Twelve-year-old Sunny St. James navigates heart surgery, reconnecting with her lost mother, first kisses, and emerging feelings for another girl in this stunning, heartfelt novel--perfect for fans of Ali Benjamin and Erin Entrada Kelly.
When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a "New Life Plan": 1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; and 3) kiss a boy for the first time.
Her "New Life Plan" seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all. With the reemergence of her mother, Sunny begins a journey to becoming the new Sunny St. James.
This sweet, tender novel dares readers to find the might in their own hearts.


Author Notes

Ashley Herring Blake lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two sons. She is the author of the young adult novels Suffer Love, How to Make a Wish, and Girl Made of Stars , as well as the middle-grade novel Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World .


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-A contemporary middle grade story about starting over and redefining yourself. Sunshine "Sunny" St. James has had a heart transplant, and she's ready to start her life over again. She has a plan that involves finding a new best friend and finally kissing a boy. Then Sunny's mother shows up in town and tries to reconnect with her, and Sunny isn't sure what to think. Also, she is starting to feel more than best-friend feelings toward her new best friend. This is a sweet, gentle story of a 12-year-old girl who is just starting to decide where she fits in the world. Sunny's distinct character and voice shine through as she tries to reinvent herself. Readers will be able to relate to Sunny's struggles in finding a new best friend and her feelings regarding her former best friend. Even without a fast-moving plot, this story is still compelling, as readers follow Sunny in her decisions to spend time with her mother, who abandoned her when she was four years old, as well as her quest to find a boy to kiss. Sunny ultimately discovers that she is interested in both boys and girls. This slice-of-life story is perfect for fans of Lisa Bigelow's Drum Roll, Please or Joanne Rocklin's Love, Penelope. VERDICT A heartwarming and engaging tale that treats Sunny's emerging sexual identity with care, authenticity, and age appropriateness. A first purchase for public and school -libraries.-Jenni Frencham, Indiana University © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Horn Book Review

After receiving a heart transplant, twelve-year-old Sunny decides its time for a New Life with specific componentsincluding finding a boy to kiss and finding a new best friend (her old one having spilled Sunnys secret: she thinks about kissing boys and girls). A girl named Quinn, whos visiting for the summer, is willing to fill in as best friend and also to help Sunny find a kissing partneran endeavor that raises more questions for Sunny than it answers. Meanwhile, her long-absent mother is back in her life; reactions to her moms reappearance from headstrong Sunny and her protective guardian Kate are particularly well drawn. Despite many plot threads, the novel doesnt feel overcrowded, between the measured revelations of backstory and the emotion-infused first-person narration that makes everything easy to follow. As in Ivy Aberdeens Letter to the World (rev. 5/18), Blake balances her portrayal of major upheaval in a preteens life with her characters private questions of identity, which feel major as well. shoshana flax March/April 2019 p 76(c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

Sunny St. James has just had a heart transplant and is ready to take three crucial steps into her New Life. Step No. 1: Do "awesome amazing things" her cardiomyopathy kept her from doing. Step No. 2: "Find a new best friend" to replace Margot, who betrayed her trust. Step No. 3: "Find a boy" to kiss, "because kisses." Sunny achieves the first two steps almost simultaneously: She goes swimming in the ocean for the first time since her diagnosis and she meets blue-haired Quinn Ros Rivera, and the two agree to be best friends. The third proves to be difficult, because Sunny finds she doesn't want to kiss a boy. She wants to kiss Quinn. Sunny's struggles are numerous but well-balanced and never overwhelm readers. The 12-year-old's mother, Lena, who gave Sunny to her best friend, Kate, to raise eight years ago, is ready to be part of Sunny's life. Sunny isn't sure she wants to know Lena, a recovering alcoholic. She's also uncertain as to which feelings are hers and which ones belong to her unknown heart donor, but her thoughtful, present-tense voice as she parses these feelings is all hers. Quinn is Puerto Rican; Kate's boyfriend is black; and Lena's husband is South Asian. Assume whiteness for everyone else.A sweet and gentle story of self-discovery and a beautiful addition to the growing genre of middle-grade realism featuring girls who like girls. (Fiction. 8-13) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* A heart transplant kicks off a summer of self-discovery for rising seventh-grader Sunny St. James, whose greatest fear was dying before her first kiss. Blessed with a new heart and a new BFF in Quinn, a recent transplant to Juniper Island, she's on a mission to kiss a boy. Except she's not really sure it's a boy she wants to kiss. Complicating matters is the return of her birth mother, Lena, who left Sunny with her best friend Kate when she was only four years old and has been incommunicado since. Lena introduces Sunny to surfing, an activity that's been grounding for the recovering alcoholic. Sunny falls hard for the surfing and Lena, only to be upended when she discovers what Lena's kept a secret: the family she's grown in the years since leaving Sunny. Like Blake's acclaimed middle-grade debut, Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World (2018), this is an accomplished, layered, moving story featuring a girl questioning her sexuality. Enhancing the story are the larger questions Sunny grapples with, from what makes a good friend to whether or not her new heart someone else's heart has fundamentally changed who she is. With the need for more LGBTQ fiction for upper-elementary and middle schools, this is a welcome addition. Big-hearted in every way.--Jennifer Barnes Copyright 2019 Booklist