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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This copy has been shrink wrapped for added protection while in storage. The text is clean and free of any markings. This copy has very little shelf wear. This is a former library copy and is marked accordingly. The spine is strong and the pages are crisp.
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Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty Paperback – July 30, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1994, in the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago's South Side, a 14-year-old girl named Shavon Dean was killed by a stray bullet during a gang shooting. Her killer, Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, was 11 years old. Neri recounts Yummy's three days on the run from police (and, eventually, his own gang) through the eyes of Roger, a fictional classmate of Yummy's. Roger grapples with the unanswerable questions behind Yummy's situation, with the whys and hows of a failed system, a crime-riddled neighborhood, and a neglected community. How could a smiling boy, who carried a teddy bear and got his nickname from his love of sweets, also be an arsonist, an extortionist, a murderer? Yet as Roger mulls reasons, from absentee parenting to the allure of gang membership, our picture of Yummy only becomes more obscure. Neri's straightforward, unadorned prose is the perfect complement to DuBurke's stark black-and-white inks; great slabs of shadow and masterfully rendered faces breathe real, tragic life into the players. Like Roger, in the end readers are left with troubling questions and, perhaps, one powerful answer: that they can choose to do everything in their power to ensure that no one shares Yummy's terrible fate.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up–In 1994, an incident of Southside Chicago gang-related violence captured national headlines. Eleven-year-old Robert "Yummy" Sandifer shot and killed his 14-year-old neighbor Shavon Dean. Neri's retelling is based on public records as well as personal and media accounts from the period. Framing the story through the eyes and voice of a fictional character, 11-year-old Roger, offers a bittersweet sense of authenticity while upholding an objective point of view. Yummy, so named because of his love of sweets, was the child of parents who were continually in prison. While living legally under the care of a grandmother who was overburdened with the custody of numerous grandchildren, Yummy sought out the closest thing he could find to a family: BDN or Black Disciples Nation. In the aftermath and turmoil of Shavon's tragic death, he went into hiding with assistance from the BDN. Eventually the gang turned on him and arranged for his execution. The author frames the story with this central question: Was Yummy a cold-blooded killer or a victim of his environment? While parts of the message focusing on the consequences of choice become a little heavy-handed, the exploration of "both sides of the story" is unflinchingly offered. In one of the final panels, narrator Roger states, "I don't know which was worse, the way Yummy lived or the way he died." Realistic black-and-white art further intensifies the story's emotion. A significant portion of the panels feature close-up faces. This perspective offers readers an immediacy as well as emotional connection to this tragic story.Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books (July 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584302674
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584302674
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Sometimes stories get to you; this one left my stomach in knots. After three days of reporting, I still couldn't decide which was more appalling: the child's life or the child's death." - John Hull, TIME Magazine, Sept. 1994. When true stories get turned into graphic novels for kids, they tend to take place in the distant past. Books like James Sturm's Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, for example. Contemporary stories, or tales that have taken place in the last 20 years, are few and far between. Picking up "Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty" by Greg Neri, I hoped against hope that the book in my hands would be appropriate for middle grade readers. I love comics for kids, but there are really only so many tales involving kids finding magical distant lands that you can read before you want to pluck out your own eyeballs. Yummy in contrast 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.

The real world facts are available. Here's what we know: That Robert "Yummy" Sandifer was eleven years old in 1994 when he went on the run after accidentally killing a neighbor girl. Gang violence was at its peak in the Roseland area of Chicago, and in this book a fictional neighborhood boy watches what happens to Yummy and to his own brother, both members of the same gang. The book asks hard questions as we watch Yummy's life and strange toughness, even as his story turns tragic.
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Format: Paperback
Powerfully drawing you deep into the emotional turmoil of the events surrounding the real life story of Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, G. Neri is a master of HOOK and SUBSTANCE. To simply call this book a cautionary tale would be criminal. This book is like the streets. There is no master key to check your answers against. Like the streets, you draw your own conclusions. And, like the streets, the cautions are painted on the walls right in front of you.

Neri is less an author and more of a wizard, stirring his cauldron of words into a tonic that once drunk, sucks the you into that world completely. Even after closing the last page of the book, you remain deep in the realm of, in this case, south side Chicago in 1994. Yummy haunts you. Yummy's face appears when you look at your kids, playing in their safe, crime free neighborhood. Yummy calls to you from beyond the grave with not answers, but more questions.

A confident writer can pen a book that asks more questions than it answers, yet still satisfies to the core. And this is one of those books. There is no shortage of commentary on this event, but Neri only uses those various voices as fuel for the readers' own conclusions. And, in this day and age of nonstop bombardment of opinions coming from parents, teachers, media sources, politicians, everywhere.... it must be nice for a kid to pick up a book that truly honors their ability to draw conclusions using their own mental capacity. In short, Neri trusts the kids that will pick up his book. And that is an honorable trait in an author.

The use of this book's narrator is effective because you are not getting the answers from Yummy himself. You, like observers at the time, are on the outside peering in.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before Columbine, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook, there was `Yummy' Sandifer.

When he was just eleven-years-old, Robert `Yummy' Sandifer (so named for his love of junk food) opened fire in a street of his local neighbourhood in Roseland, Chicago. Yummy fired a 9 millimeter semiautomatic pistol, hitting and killing a young girl called Shavon Dean, who was just 14-years-old. Yummy fled the scene, and a manhunt got underway - the senseless murder and 11-year-old killer making national headlines . . . but that was just the beginning of this tragic saga.

Yummy was close to members of the Black Disciples Chicago street gang, and this is presumably how he came to be in possession of the gun. During the manhunt, it was reported that the shooting was even an initiation gone wrong. And it was because of his fledgling ties to the Black Disciples that it was the gang who ended up finding Yummy, and executing him.

Brothers Cragg and Derrick Hardaway, ages 16 and 14, were the Black Disciples members who met Yummy on August 31. They promised him a safe place to hide from the police . . . instead he was driven to an empty underpass and told to get on his knees - he was then shot twice in the back of the head. His body was discovered by Chicago police the next day, and brothers Cragg and Derrick Hardaway were convicted of his murder and given long-term prison sentences.

Yummy's mug-shot was plastered over the cover of TIME Magazine (the same mug-shot his family used for his funeral program). His story sent shockwaves through America as more of his sad background and violent end became known. By three-years of age, Yummy was known to Child Welfare authorities as his mother had a history of misdemeanour arrests and his father was incarcerated.
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