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Yummy

Review
By A Fuse #8 Production

Yummy . . . was something entirely new. Gritty, real, willing to ask tough questions, and willing to trust that young readers will be able to reach their own conclusions. The central question is this: Can a child murderer be both victim and bully all at the same time? Don’t look for easy answers here. Neri’s not handing them out. . . . this is a story that needs to be told and it needs to be told to kids. Hand it to teens all you want (this would make a fantastic reluctant reader pick), but remember that there’s going to be nine and ten-year-olds out there as well who are ready for what Mr. Neri has to say. . . .

[Illustrator Randy DuBurke has] taken Neri’s tale and created a book that feels both realistic and as beautifully stylized as any old noir. Playing not just with expressions and characters but with light and shadow as well, it’s DuBurke’s choices that lift this book up and make it far more compelling than it would be merely on its own. . . . Then there’s DuBurke’s use of light. . . . The harsh light of the streetlamps throws everyone’s faces into white and black. Eyes get hidden, bodies get eaten up in the shadows of leaves. It’s fantastic. The whole book is a series of variegated contrasts, all black and white. That’s particularly ironic when you read the text and realize that the storyline is anything but black and white. This is a book written in shades of gray. . . . Yummy looks a little deeper what makes a human being “good” or “bad”. Is it how they’re raised? Or how they live? The choices they make? As our hero says, “I tried to figure out who the real Yummy was. The one who stole my lunch money? Or the one who smiled when I shared my candy with him? I wondered if I grew up like him, would I have turned out the same?” That’s a question any kid reading this book might ask themselves too. . . . Believe me, you’ve nothing like this in your collection. Better get it while you can. —A Fuse #8 Production