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This One Summer Hardcover – May 6, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Every summer, Rose and her parents vacation at a lakeside cottage. The rest of the world fades away as Rose reunites with her friend Windy and delves into leisurely games of MASH, swimming, and the joy of digging giant holes in the sand—but this summer is different. Rose is on the cusp of adolescence; she's not ready to leave childhood behind but is fascinated by the drama of the local teens who are only a few years older, yet a universe apart in terms of experience. They drink, they smoke, they swear. As Rose and Windy dip their toes into the mysterious waters of teen life by experimenting with new vocabulary ("sluts!") and renting horror movies, her parents struggle with their own tensions that seem incomprehensible to Rose. Layers of story unfurl gradually as the narrative falls into the dreamlike rhythm of summer. Slice-of-life scenes are gracefully juxtaposed with a complex exploration of the fragile family dynamic after loss and Rose's ambivalence toward growing up. The mood throughout is thoughtful, quiet, almost meditative. The muted tones of the monochromatic blue-on-white illustrations are perfectly suited to the contemplative timbre, and the writing and images deserve multiple reads to absorb their subtleties. This captivating graphic novel presents a fully realized picture of a particular time in a young girl's life, an in-between summer filled with yearning and a sense of ephemerality. The story resolves with imperfect hope and will linger in readers' mind through changing seasons.—Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA
*Starred Review* Mariko and Jillian Tamaki earned critical acclaim for Skim (2008), and they return here with another coming-of-age tale about the awkward transition from carefree childhood to jaded, self-conscious young adulthood. Rose and her parents spend every summer at their lakeside cabin in Awago, right down the path from Rose’s best friend, Windy, and her family. They spend lazy days collecting rocks on the beach, riding bikes, swimming, and having barbecues. But this summer, Rose’s parents are constantly fighting, and her mother seems resentful and sad. In that unspoken way kids pick up on their parents’ hardships, Rose starts lashing out at Windy and grasping at what she thinks of as adulthood—turning up her nose at silliness (at which Windy excels), watching gory horror movies, reading fashion magazines, and joining in the bullying of a local teenage girl who finds herself in a tough spot. Jillian Tamaki’s tender illustrations, all rendered in a deep purpley blue, depict roiling water, midnight skies, Windy’s frenetic sugar highs, and Rose’s mostly aloof but often poignantly distressed facial expressions with equal aplomb. With a light touch, the Tamakis capture the struggle of growing up in a patchwork of summer moments that lead to a conclusion notably absent of lessons. Wistful, touching, and perfectly bittersweet. Grades 8-11. --Sarah Hunter
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Top Customer Reviews
I have only one caution. The age range is 12-18. The subject matter is such that it may not be appropriate for some 12 year olds:
1)references to porn, oral sex, and blow jobs and 2) language.
You will have to decide if this is appropriate for your child. My older child can deal with it, but my younger one (still with in suggested age range) wanted nothing to do with it.
I was actually surprised at how difficult the story was. There was hope and joy, but so much sadness. The cover artwork is so joyful that I didn't expect it to be quite so heavy. I know it hinted at issues, but I was still not prepared.
For those of you who complain of the profanity and "taboo" topics being touched upon in this book, do be aware that shielding your children from true life events will eventually be detrimental to their future selves. Do many parents seriously believe that their child has never once used profanity while at school? Outside with their friends? Anywhere their parents are not? It happens. And children do speak of sex, gender identity and many other supposedly "taboo" topics amongst themselves, with many being much younger than the recommended age group for this book.
The story is entertaining and helps to reveal the truth of life, yet somehow is not completely a cliche "coming-of-age story." The voices and personalities of the two protagonists are easy to imagine, and some of the wisecracks are definitely worth waiting for.
Parents, let your child decide whether they are ready for the content included in this book or not. I am sure that many of them will be able to relate to many of the references and incidents that occur, especially the problematic family-type issues that they may not even want to mention to you.
To end my review, this book was heartfelt, truthful, and is a very amazing example of the true lives of most teenagers. Don't doubt what you can't see.
Since this got awards I expected more, so I was dissapointed, but yeah, cool story, cool themes, bad character.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Raw, crude, language.I find it rather shocking and sad that this book would win awards and be considered...Read more