This One Summer

By Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki (illustrator),

Book cover of This One Summer

Book description

Every summer, Rose goes with her mum and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mum and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose…

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Why read it?

6 authors picked This One Summer as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

To put this on a list of gay coming-of-age graphic novels feels potentially like a spoiler, but in the hopes that I’ll convince at least one other person to read this near-perfect book, I’ll take the risk!

A decade after its publication, few, if any, graphic novelists have managed to match the quality of this brilliantly written, elegantly drawn, subtly rendered, and wonderfully atmospheric book about two girls whose sexualities start to manifest during a summer vacation with their families.

Mariko and Jillian Tamaki are always brilliant, but this book remains, in my opinion, their best work.

From Jonah's list on gay coming-of-age graphic novels.

For myself, this book was a very impactful, emotional, and thought-provoking read. This story hits home for me in so many ways.

I love that nostalgic feeling of going up north in the summer with a friend or family and just finding little adventures everywhere you go. I also love the awkward yet wholesome relationship the two main characters have, as they’re both in that “coming of age” era of life, where they’re starting to explore their sexualities more.

Lastly, I love this story because it dares to tackle the intricacies of mental health, a topic that I believe should…

From Ellie's list on books for people who love women.

Okay, this one isn’t scary. But This One Summer is an awesome coming-of-age GN about two young girls who spend a fateful summer at a lake house. While the themes of family dysfunction and the onset of sexual understanding make this skew a little older, the Tamakis really capture the details of not just summer, summer crushes, and summer communities, but also friendship and tween girls in general. Funnily enough, the two of us always hated summer – as kids, we spent them indoors with equal parts air conditioning, books, TV, and for Susan, cats. (Umm, and it hasn’t really…

From Susan's list on scary books for kids.

This graphic novel is intended for an older audience, but I wanted to include it for readers who like to read “up.” Two friends meet every summer at Awago, which is a small beach town. This summer is different, as they realize the world around them might be the same, but they’ve changed; they’re growing up. As they face questions related to family relationships and personal physical changes, the world around them suddenly seems much bigger. The images are dark purple and blue, and they provide a great introduction to reading comics for all ages.

This is one of my favorite books, for a hundred different reasons, but for the sake of this post, it’s because of bikes. The book is not about bikes, but the main characters sometimes use bikes to get around their summer stomping grounds. 

This One Summer is about two girls, friends, who are at different stages of maturity.

Bikes are also a mode of transportation that changes as we age. The joy of that first ride without training wheels is an anchor memory to our childhood. Windy is still tied to that childhood. But Rose, the older of the two,…

From Kevin's list on getting around.

The Tamakis, who are cousins, collaborated on this Caldecott and Printz Honor winner about a long-time summer friendship between two girls (and two families) that takes a dark turn. Though the setting is lakeside, the island is that lonely, mysterious territory between childhood and adulthood. After I finished it, I recommended it to everyone I knew who had never read a graphic novel before.

From Jenny's list on girls on islands.

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