By Graphic Texts in the Classroom

Told through the eyes of Roger, an eleven-year old Chicago youth, Yummy presents a highly accessible story of urban poverty in America through innocent, curious eyes that are less jaded and more empathetic than most adults who read about Yummy in Time Magazine. Neri and DuBurke develop not just Yummy’s character and conflicts but also the narrator Roger’s struggle to make sense of Yummy’s existence, the reader begins to see Yummy develop into a rounder character who possesses both surface and deeper levels. While the strongest imagery is obviously Yummy’s gang-related activity (who won’t respond at least somehow to images of a gun-wielding eleven-year old?), other moments include his love for candy bars (which earns him his nickname) a pet frog named Jelly Bean, a teddy bear, and Yummy’s childish responses to his grandmother. With this mixture of imagery and characterization, the reader cannot help but think about the internal conflicts faced by a child like Yummy, or even narrator Roger, a much more fortunate child growing up in the same environment. —Graphic Texts in the Classroom