This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
(First Second, 2014, 320 pages)
This One Summer was an incredibly well-drawn story about entering adolescence. Rose and her family spend every summer up at Awago Beach. Rose spends her time hanging out with her younger friend, Windy. The two girls have spent summers together for years. But this summer Rose doesn’t seem to have the patience for some of Windy’s jokes and antics; she’s more interested in the guy working at the local convenience store. As Rose tries to adapt some of her summer rituals to better reflect her new interests she’s also dealing with some tension between her parents. The two are fighting more openly now and she’s doing what she can to avoid it.
Told over one summer this graphic novel does a great job capturing the feeling when you’re between childhood and becoming a teenager. Your interests are changing and you don’t want to be seen as a child anymore. But that doesn’t mean you’re ready for the “grown-up” world you see as your future.
As I mentioned, I really enjoyed the images in this book. The ink used is a sort of navy blue instead of a more typical black and white portrayal and it put me in mind of Blueberries for Sal (a book I loved!). A quick read that has appeal for a wide range of readers.