The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

For those of you who like a mix of drama, romance, and action, this book is for you.  Starting off with, “I’m going to die today”, the author really hooks you in, making you wonder, why the main character says that she’s going to die.  This book is about a twelve-year-old girl, named Sunny St. James, navigating through a heart surgery and finding “her people.” Along with that, she needs to deal with meeting her birth mother, who left her with a friend when Sunny was only four years old.  As the reader proceeds through the book, the following questions pop into the reader’s mind: Will Sunny find “her people”? Will Sunny live to finish finding who she was meant to be? Will Sunny die?

— From Emmy


Twelve-year-old Sunny St. James navigates heart surgery, reconnecting with her lost mother, first kisses, and emerging feelings for another girl in this stunning, heartfelt novel--perfect for fans of Ali Benjamin and Erin Entrada Kelly.

When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a "New Life Plan": 1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; and 3) kiss a boy for the first time.

Her "New Life Plan" seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all. With the reemergence of her mother, Sunny begins a journey to becoming the new Sunny St. James.

This sweet, tender novel dares readers to find the might in their own hearts.

About the Author

Ashley Herring Blake lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two sons. She is the author of the young adult novels Suffer Love, How to Make a Wish, and Girl Made of Stars, as well as the middle-grade novel Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World.

Praise For…

Praise for The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James:

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James is a moving coming of age story that is not only engaging to read but is also deeply important. Sunny is a funny, thoughtful, and wonderfully rendered character who will stay with you long after you have finished reading.—Aisha Saeed, New York Times bestselling author of Amal Unbound

"The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James will make you ache for the twelve-year-old you once were, and anxious to share this book with every pre-teen you know. I may be Ashley Herring Blake's biggest fan!"— Shannon Hitchcock, author of One True Way and Ruby Lee & Me

"The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James pulls at the heart strings from the very first sentence. Part soul-crushing, part soul-fulfilling, laced in humor and unwavering hope. Readers will root for Sunny from start to finish. Ashley Herring Blake hits all the feels with this one. Love is love is Love. Surely a message we all can get on board with!"—Tami Charles, author of Like Vanessa and Definitely Daphne

"In The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James, Ashley Herring Blake honors the big, messy emotions inherent in being a preteen girl. Sunny is portrayed with such deep empathy and respect that she's destined to be a treasured friend for readers. This book is a joy."—Anne Ursu, author of The Lost Girl

* "A sweet and gentle story of self-discovery and a beautiful addition to the growing genre of middle-grade realism featuring girls who like girls."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"A heartwarming and engaging tale that treats Sunny's emerging sexual identity with care, authenticity, and age appropriateness."—School Library Journal, starred review

* "[The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James] is an accomplished, layered, moving story featuring a girl questioning her sexuality. Bighearted in every way."—Booklist, starred review

Praise for Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World:

"There are some books that we never forget. This is one of those books. Impactful, emotional, and important."—Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery award-winning author of Hello, Universe

"Blake captures all the exhilaration of a first crush without shying away from Ivy's confusion.... The sisters' relationship is one of the great rewards of this novel that includes a large and vivid cast of secondary characters, who give the story its sense of abundant texture."—The New York Times Book Review

* " Ivy's story is no mere niche-filler in LGBTQ middle-grade realism--it's a standard-setter."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Filling a much-needed gap in middle-grade literature, this story addresses not just the topic of a first crush, but also the invisibility frequently felt by middle children... Young readers will find Ivy's challenges very real and will sympathize with her choices, both good and bad."—School Library Journal, starred review

* "This is an emotionally sensitive and elegantly written novel about loss and the first stirrings of love."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This necessary and emotionally complex addition to the body of middle-grade literature offers readers a positive, complex, and courageous portrayal of burgeoning sexuality and relationships within the world of junior high."—Booklist

"A tenderhearted novel that should be in the hands of every reader."—Kat Yeh, author of The Truth About Twinkie Pie and The Way to Bea
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316515535
ISBN-10: 0316515531
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 26th, 2019
Pages: 384
Language: English