Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty

by G. Neri, Randy DuBurke


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781584302674
Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date: 09/01/2010
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: GN510L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

G. NERI is the Eisner-nominated, Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author of Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty, which Flavorwire hailed as one of the top 25 essential graphic novels of all-time. He has written ten books for young people, including the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award-winner, Chess Rumble, and his books have been translated into multiple languages in more than 25 countries. Mr. Neri lives on the Gulf coast of Florida with his wife and daughter. For more information, visit his website at www.gneri.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.

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Yummy 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
aakauff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stark black-and-white illustrations are used to tell the story of Robert ¿Yummy¿ Sandifer, a boy from Chicago who was only 13-years-old when he was brutally murdered by his fellow gang members. Based on actual events, an imagined narrator is used to tell Yummy¿s story. The result is a thought-provoking and fast read about a boy who had everything going against him (absent father, cocaine-addicted prostitute for a mother) and made some unfortunate life choices. A powerful read about growing up too fast, the tragic story of Yummy¿s life will be with the reader for a long time. As the book¿s narrator says, ¿I don¿t know which was worse, the way Yummy lived or the way he died.¿ While the content of the book is certainly graphic and disturbing, the message is an important one for young people to know. For ages 13-18. Highly recommended.
RosanaSantana on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This graphic novel tells the true story of Yummy, the eleven year old gang member who shoots a fourteen year old girl and then is shot by his own gang.
Jennanana on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A graphic novel based on true events. Yummy was a young gang banger on Chicago's South Side. He was hired to do a hit but missed his target, hitting an innocent girl instead. Fleeing for his life, he hid out under bridges and with "friends" until his life came to an untimely ending on the wrong side of a gun. These events sparked controversy all over the US when people started realizing that gang and gun violence has to stop. Awesome illustrations, some of the plot line is imagined by the author, but striking nonetheless.
Ellen_Norton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This tells the story of Robert "Yummy" Sandoval, a troubled 11 year old who accidentally shoots a young girl on Chicago's south side while trying to prove his worth to the notorious Gangster Disciple gang. Yummy is forced into hiding and meets a tragic end. This story is truly enlightening about gang involvement and the difficulties faced by many urban youths.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Graphic depiction of a real-life story - an 11-year-old who joined a gang, accidentally shot a 14-year-old girl and was then murdered himself by his own gang because he was too hot to handle.
jenniferthomp75 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book packs a wallop, especially to those of us who work with youth in an urban setting. True tale of Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, an 11 year old gang banger who accidentally kills a 14 year old girl and dies because of it.Brilliantly told with simple prose and harsh black and white drawings, Yummy's story is a cautionary tale for kids who think gang life is the answer. And deeper questions persist about Yummy's role as victim or bully and what role the family and community play in his life.Highly recommended and on my short list for the 2011 Printz.
KarenBall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If a kid goes down, there's another one waiting in line. You make it past 19 these days, you a senior citizen around here. Based on real events, this is a fictionalized version of the life of Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, who made national headlines and the cover of Time magazine in 1994, when he was executed by his own Southside Chicago gang members to prevent him from snitching to the police about their illegal activities. Neri tells the story from the point of view of Roger, Yummy's neighbor. Details taken from public records, newspaper and media accounts of events, and personal stories make this a gripping and sometimes shocking story of a lostoy who found family in a gang. Nicknamed Yummy for his love of sweets and cookies, he was the child of a crack addict and lost to the foster care system early on. After joining the Black Disciples Nation, Yummy stole cars, set fires, extorted money and threatened anyone who got in his way. He also had a teddy bear and a pet frog, and occasionally made his way home to his grandmother's house for love and cookies. Roger tries to figure out who the real Yummy was -- the cold-blooded murderer who killed a 14-year-old girl, or the boy with the candy and the teddy bear? A graphic novel with a lot of questions and excellent black and white artwork, for 8th grade and up.
eheinlen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought that I would hate this book and dreaded reading it, especially because it was a graphic novel, but I ended up loving it. It is a simple story that perfectly illustrates the problems faced by inner city youth in today's society. I think this would be a great book for all children to read, especially in school so that a teacher could lead them in a discussion afterward.
ShaneCasebeer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Q: 5P: 3 Annotation: Based on the true story of Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, an eleven-year old African American gang member who shot a young girl, this black and white graphic novels raises complex and nuances questions that have no easy answers.
alphaselene on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
5Q, 5P. An important story of a bleak urban reality.
EKAnderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So recently I read YUMMY by G. Neri, a book that has been buzzed about in many of the reading communities I belong to. Lately, every time I turn around, someone is talking about this graphic novel. And now I know why:It¿s brilliant.Here¿s the thing. I had no idea going into this that YUMMY was based on a true story. The author¿s note at the beginning informs the reader that this is based on the life of Robert ¿Yummy¿ Sandifer, born in 1983 and 11 at the time of the story. Yummy was a member of the Black Disciples Nation, a gang that held a prominent position in Chicago¿s Southside neighborhood in the 90s.YUMMY is told from the point of view of Roger, a kid who is Yummy¿s age, who knows him from the neighborhood. Roger¿s older brother Gary is a member of the Black Disciples, and Roger seems to have mixed feelings about it. When Yummy shows up on the news, wanted for the murder of a fourteen year old girl named Shavon, Roger can hardly believe it. Sure, Yummy was kind of a bully, but he also had a sweet side. To Roger, Yummy is just a kid. And the more he thinks about it ¿ the horrible parents Yummy had, the many homes he¿s been to, the way no adult has ever treated him with love or kindness ¿ Roger isn¿t sure if Yummy is the victim or the criminal.The juxtaposition of a little boy who gets picked on in a group home for having a teddy bear and the ¿tough shorty¿ who kills Shavon in a botched gang shooting is flooring. G. Neri¿s words are economically chosen; Roger¿s voice true to his setting and time yet universal. Randy DuBurke¿s illustrations are the perfect accompaniment, both beautiful and jarring.YUMMY is a quick read at just 96 pages long. But it¿s the sort of book that sits with you, deep in your gut. I hope everyone will get the chance to read YUMMY. It¿s a book that very much needs to be read, over and over.
notoriousspinks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, a graphic novel, written by Greg Neri and Illustrated by Randy DuBurke is told from the P.O.V. of Roger. Roger is an 11-year-old kid who lived in the same community as both victims, Yummy and Shavon. However, as the media added their usual hype to the news story and as thousands of viewers and readers around the country speculated, Roger searched for the truth. He wasn¿t satisfied with the vilified image of Yummy that the media produced. Yes Yummy had bullied him in the past but Yummy was still a kid from a broken home who liked to sleep with his teddy bear.I usually don¿t read graphic novels but I found the illustrations in this book to be nice. I enjoyed the pictures and reading the captions. However, the story line wasn¿t quite there for me. I could tell that it was written by an ¿outsider.¿ Although Neri did a decent job with the dialogue I wasn¿t sure if I bought it. I felt like he was on the outside looking in. There was a feel of him writing about an inner-city neighborhood but not quite connecting to the neighborhood.On the other hand, Neri did create an outlet for people who have no idea about the `hood to feel as if they¿re getting a front row seat to the party. When I finished reading I just felt like this is one of those books that continue to feed stereotypical images to those who don¿t have clue about the inner-city and can¿t buy a vowel. One thing I do agree with is as the author noted: So, was Yummy a cold-blooded killer or a victim? The answer is not black-and-white.No the answer isn¿t black-and-white¿
Bogle3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yummy was about an 11 year old boy who grew up always getting in trouble and most of the time just wanting to be bad. When getting involved with the wrong people Yummy, got in a gang. He wanted the higher ranked people to think more of him so he decided he was going to shoot someone. Instead of shooting this one guy he missed and killed a young girl. Yummy was then on the run. Later his own own gang told him that they would get him out of town and they killed him instead because all the attention he was bringing to the gang.I do not think this is a good book to bring in the clasroom of middle school kids because of all the violoence in this book. I think that it is just too much for middle school kids and I would not use it in my classroom. I would also not use it because of the gang mentioned in the graphic novel. I just do not think it is appropriate.I enjoyed reading this story because it was true and it was an interesting story. I was so sad that the gang killed Yummy. But glad in the end when the brother decided to leave the gang! This was a good graphic novel for someone my age to read, but not in middle school.
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This small book based on a horrifying true story packs a huge punch. I was devastated for days after reading it. It also has some of the most expressive drawings I¿ve ever seen in a graphic novel. In Chicago in 1994, eleven-year-old Robert ¿Yummy¿ Sandifer accidentally shot and killed a young neighborhood girl, Shavon Dean. Sandifer was nicknamed Yummy because of his love of cookies and Snickers bars. When Shavon was killed, Yummy had actually been aiming his gun at rival gang members. He was trying to impress his own gang, the Black Disciples (BD). The Disciples used ¿shorties¿ like Yummy for their dirty work since juveniles could not be convicted of felonies. But after the murder, it wasn¿t only the police who were after Yummy. BD decided Yummy was high risk; if he got caught by the police, he might have told them too much. Two of the gang members found him and executed him. The story is told by a fictional classmate of Yummy¿s, eleven-year-old Roger, whose brother is also a BD. As Roger tries to understand what happened, we learn about Yummy¿s background: how his father was in prison for drugs; his mother was arrested 41 times for drugs and prostitution; how Yummy was covered with scars from being beaten with an electrical cord and burned with cigarettes; how he carried a teddy bear with him; how desperately he wanted love and approval. Discussion: The author asks us to consider whether Yummy a villain or a victim. His answer is both. I can't say I agree that Yummy was a villain, in the sense of knowing or understanding what he was doing, or being responsible for actions he was manipulated into doing or fell into because of neglect and abuse. He was, after all, only eleven. But as for what could have been done to help him, or to prevent more cases like this one, neither the author nor the city of Chicago seems to have any answers. And neither do I.Evaluation: I loved the drawings in this book. I think the illustrator caught so much emotion in the facial expressions. And his pictures, at times, said conveyed more than words could have. You won¿t quickly forget this story. Highly recommended. Note: The ALA awarded a Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor to G. Neri for Yummy. The book also appears on YALSA's Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens lists, along with the ALA Notable Children's Books list. It continues to accumulate awards.
kivarson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having shot his classmate, Shavon Dean, before he was even a teenager, Robert "Yummy" Sandifer came to represent the urban crisis of gang violence in the 90s. Through interviews with people who knew both of these children, G. Neri explores this story.
ALelliott on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For readers:Robert "Yummy" Sandifer is eleven years old. He has a teddy bear and a pet frog named Jelly Bean. He loves candy. But one day, she shoots a fourteen year old girl in the middle of a gang fight. Abandoned by his family and the gang that enticed him into violence, Yummy tries to survive as the police and neighborhood search for him. Based on the true story, this graphic novel paints a very real picture of the struggle and violence that many young people face daily. Be prepared to be shocked and deeply saddened by Yummy's story.For librarians and educators:This graphic novel's stark black and white illustrations contrast deeply with the shades of gray portrayed in this story. While the subject matter is bleak, violent, and shocking, students can relate to the characters, including Yummy himself, as they register emotions from anger to devastation and everything in between. This is a great book for starting all kinds of discussions.Reading level: this is an easy book to read, but the subject matter is difficultAppropriateness: for mature students
Shanon.sval5976 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a true story about an eleven year old boy named Robert. His nickname is Yummy because he loved candy and other sweets. He is the sweetest little boy ever. He became apart of a gang, though. Yummy did bad things like shoplift, steal cars, and break into houses. One day he accidentally shot his friend. Her name is Shavon. Yummy was trying to protect his gang's property so he accidentaly shot Shavon. He hid but wanted to go home to his grandmother becuase that's the only home he had. At the end he dies. His homies shot him because Yummy was too much of a problem to them. "Yummy" is a true story that teaches everyone a lesson.
ewyatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A graphic biography that tells the story of Yummy (Robert Sandivol), a young gang member involved in a shooting and eventual retribution from his gang. The book is set in Chicago and based on a story reported on heavily by the media in the 1990s. The narrator is a made-up neighborhood boy who wonders about his path and the tragic path of Yummy.
Prop2gether on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well rendered novelization of an actual event where an 11-year old gang member accidentally shot a neighborhood girl. Found on the ALA recommended books for teens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty tells the story of the life and death of Robert “Yummy” Sandifer who was killed by his fellow gang members at the tender age of 11-years-old from the perspective of Roger who is the same age as Yummy. The story of Yummy is tragic and grisly one considering his death sparked national debate on gang violence in America which is still common today. I feel like this book helps younger readers realize how dangerous gangs can be and that they have no age-restriction on them as Yummy was eleven at the time of his death. The age of Yummy and the black-and-white better convey this serious message to a younger audience while making it easier and more entertaining to read.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
The protagonist is an eleven-year-old male, yet his story seems to be that of an older teen or person in young adulthood. As the reader follows Yummy's life he or she will be exposed to the type of life many youth are faced with. If you are unaware of the life of Yummy (a nickname for the main character) this graphic novel will be educational and enlightening. *Well written. *Emotional. * Informative reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BlakeRBR More than 1 year ago
Yummy was one of the easiest readings I have ever taken on. I read it twice to make sure I didn't miss a single detail! Robert "Yummy" Sandifer's life and death are told through a nontraditional comic text layout. The illustrations and pertinent, selected text grab your attention from the very beginning and never let you out of the story. The author, G. Neri, used several sources, including public records, media reports, and personal accounts, to recreate the story with some fictional events to fill missing information. I loved following Yummy's life, from being raised by parents who frequented jail and abused their children to running the streets with a prominent Chicago gang known as the Black Disciples to his untimely death at the young age of 11. Yummy grew up through a troubled life and most times had to fend for himself by thieving others and running from the law. Neri's words, coupled with Randy DuBurke's illustrations, paint a story with multiple sides. The reader is faced with the issue of whether to be angry at Yummy for the criminal life (shoplifting, burglary, violence & murder) he partakes in or to feel sorry for his lack of guidance (criminal and drug abusing parents, lack of help from the correctional institutions he frequented, or the moral less gang he joined and called family) which resulted in his wayward path to death at the hands of the Black Disciples (the gang he called family). If you are a visual learner, this book is for you! Without the illustrations, this is just another report on a child's life ravaged by gang influences and violence. G. Neri is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and new media producer from Los Angeles. Neri worked with the inner-city youth and taught in South Central Los Angeles. When the events of Yummy's story first started to unfold in 1994, Neri was teaching students that hailed from dysfunctional homes, had families similar to Yummy's and lived lives marred by gang related violence and death. He notes that he "even worked with a teen who, when he wasn't around gangs, acted like any sweet, innocent kid. But on the streets, he had already become a hard-core gangbanger" (Neri, pg. 95). I believe the reason why Neri wrote this particular text was because he related so closely to the situation and circumstances surrounding Yummy and his life. Neri didn't tell the story through one source however. Instead, he created Roger who tells the story as Yummy's friend in the Roseland area of Chicago and tries to guide readers to make sense of the events that occurred. References Neri, G. (2010). Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty. New York: Lee & Low Books Inc.
P_Coyle More than 1 year ago
Yummy was really moving. No kidding, I welled up at the end. G Neri did a nice job with the story and the narrative, using the POV of a fellow kid in Yummy's neighborhood. And the art was great! Good visual storytelling, and a really nice feel to the art that not only reflects the time and place in which the story takes place, but also has a gritty yet personal feel for the characters and subject matter.
bookkids More than 1 year ago
Graphic novels published by mainstream book publishers are a tough sell for me, for many reasons: I usually sense they don't understand the market, and have editorial understanding of the genre. Art placement - that is, the juxtaposition of the art and storyline, how each advances the other, is a difficult task for most of them, even with a skilled graphic storyteller. How refreshing to be wrong once in a while! This book is engrossing, and real. There is fine character development, well rendered and with a great narrative, and it is visually interesting and exciting. In fact, the stark black and white images, thanks to the great detail and deliberateness of the artist (not at the expense of subtlety when called for) goes a long way to really make this story accessible. Life is like that: Deliberate, but with nuances thrown in, each making us choose a different path. Yummy is real. Not just the story, but the character. Neri and DeBurke are a terrific combo and have created a satisfying and emotionally evocative story with this graphic novel, which will hopefully create a new standard to which future graphic novels can be held. Get this book!