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Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty

By G. Neri

Illustrated by Randy DuBurke


Eleven-year-old Roger is trying to make sense of his classmate Robert "Yummy" Sandifer's death, but first he has to make sense of Yummy's life. Yummy could be as tough as a pit bull sometimes. Other times he was as sweet as the sugary treats he loved to eat. Was Yummy some sort of monster, or just another kid?

As Roger searches for the truth, he finds more and more questions. How did Yummy end up in so much trouble? Did he really kill someone? And why do all the answers seem to lead back to a gang—the same gang Roger's older brother belongs to?

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty is a compelling dramatization based on events that occurred in Chicago in 1994. This gritty exploration of youth gang life will force readers to question their own understandings of good and bad, right and wrong.

Book Trailer

Booktalk with author G. Neri and illustrator Randy DuBurke

Radio Interview with author G. Neri

Discussion Questions

Jason Low: From Comics Fan to Children's Publisher

"Murder in Miniature," the original Time Magazine article on Yummy's life and death

G. Neri Discusses Yummy With Middle School Students

Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award
American Library Association

Best Books of the Year
Kirkus Reviews

100 Magnificent Children's Books of 2010
A Fuse #8 Production, Blog on School Library Journal

2011 Notable Books for a Global Society list
International Reading Association

Ten Best Nexus Graphica, SF Site

More awards...
Interest Level
Grades 5 and up
Reading Level
Grades 4 and up
Biography, African/African American Interest, Bullying, Conflict resolution, Coping with Death, Family Traditions, Historical Interest, Neighbors, Self Esteem/Identity, YA interest, Middle Grade, Poverty
About the Creators

G. Neri is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and new media producer from Los Angeles, where he also worked with inner-city youth. He is the recipient of the International Reading Association Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award and Chess Rumble was recognized as an ALA Notable Children’s Book. Neri now lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida with his wife and their daughter. His Web site is gregneri.com.

Randy DuBurke is a full-time artist, whose work has appeared in books for young readers, DC and Marvel comics, The New York Times, and MAD magazine. A native of Brooklyn, New York, DuBurke now lives in Switzerland with his wife and their two sons. His Web site is randyduburke.com.

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