The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James

Book - 2019 | First edition
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"Twelve-year-old Sunny St. James must navigate heart surgery, reconnections with a lost mother, the betrayal of a former best friend, first kisses, and emerging feelings for another girl"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York ; Boston : Little, Brown and Company, 2019
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316515535
Branch Call Number: JF BLAKE-A
Characteristics: 375 pages ; 21 cm


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Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Apr 11, 2019

Let's cut to the chase: this is a very, very, very good book. Sunny is such a great character -- confused and flawed and smart and scared and real, and I wanted to give her a hug at so many points in this book. It wasn't quiiiiiite the emotional punch to the gut that Ashley Herring Blake's previous book (Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World -- go read it right now, I'll wait) was, but this is easily one of the best middle grade titles I've read in 2019 so far, and I hope she keeps writing for a long, long time.

samcmar Feb 19, 2019

On my way to Montreal in February I decided I needed to read a new Ashley Herring Blake book. Both Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the Word and Girl Made of Stars got five stars from me because they left me an emotional train-wreck. Her books are challenging but they also give me hope, and The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James is no exception.

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James follows Sunny, a girl who got a recent heart transplant. Having a new heart, Sunny believes that she feels different about herself, that she wants life to be something different. When her biological mother comes back into her life a new girl begins to challenge her perceptions of the world, Sunny's world is turned upside down. Sunny's story is beautiful and I felt a lot of sympathy for her. Sunny spends a lot of this book feeling confused about who she is, who she loves, and what kind of a person she is allowed to be. Her adoptive mother shelters her because of her transplant, but even in that situation, there's clearly more to it.

The writing in this book is stunning and Sunny's voice is one that will definitely capture readers. I spent my last morning in Montreal tearing up simply because there is such a huge emotional punch throughout the story, and it doesn't stop. I love when a book gives me so many emotions from start to finish, and there were parts of this book where I felt my heart beat faster and faster. This smart middle grade book will teach so many people about empathy and what it means to get a second lease on life, even at a young age.

I cried during The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James and I am not afraid to admit that. What I hope is that more people open their minds to more queer middle grade. Stories should transform our lives, and I think this book offers a transformation that readers will never forget.


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