Rose has been going to a cottage in Awago with her family every summer for as long as she can remember. She spends the summer reading, swimming, and walking to the convenience store for candy with her friend, Windy. This particular summer is a little bit different for Rose. She's mostly doing the same things she's always done at the lake, but she feels different about almost all of them. Windy's occasionally childish behavior bothers her. The gross older guy who works at the store is much more intriguing than she remembers him to be. Her mother's cold, distant behavior is much more apparent and frustrating that it has been. It seems that this one summer is going to change Rose's outlook on life forever.
Why It's Worth Reading:
To start, the art! In case it is unclear, This One Summer is a graphic novel and the beauty, tone and detail that Mariko Tamaki manages to capture in his blue-grey scale drawings is truly incredible. Like many Michiganders, I am familiar with the concept of going away to a cottage/lake/cabin/Up North for part of the summer. Going to Awago with Rose through Tamaki's images fully revived all of my memories of cottage stays past and injected into me an almost guttural longing for summer. Then there's the story - despite a carefree-looking cover and a fairly innocuous title, there are some serious things happening in this book. It's certainly a better pick for teens and adults despite the Caldecott Medal (most typically given to picture books for young children) adorning the cover. Between the story and the art, you can palpably feel Rose coming of age, fighting a battle within between her youthful, carefree self and an older, wiser young woman who doesn't want to be shielded from life's woes. So many readers will find something to which they relate in This One Summer.
Publisher: First Second
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Source: NHS Library
Awards: Printz Honor Award 2015, Caldecott Honor Award 2015, Bulletin Blue Ribbon 2015, ALA Great Graphic Novel 2015, & at least 5 2014 Best of reading lists
Do We Own a Copy?: Of course!