This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

summerThis book got a ton of buzz because it received a Printz honor and a Caldecott honor. Say what? a young adult award and a picture book award? Yes. And yeah, the Caldecott guidelines are for illustration, not technically a picture book, which is why they are giving it to this book, but I say rewrite those guidelines and stop giving what I believe is meant to be a picture book award to a young adult coming of age graphic novel that is quite mature. But, I think this is a good book and am delighted for the author, illustrator, and publisher (First Second, of course!).
Anyway, the book itself. It is indeed about one summer and two friends, one of whom, Windy, is a bit younger. This summer feels different for Rose for a lot of reasons. Her parents seem to be struggling over possibly grief and/or disagreement, Windy’s immaturity and free-spirit are occasionally unwelcome, and she is somewhat attracted to somewhat unsavory older teens.
I loved the illustration style and the blue palette. I especially enjoyed the character of Windy and the contrast between her and Rose. Windy is still on the side of childhood, filled with exuberance, self-confidence, and fun. Poor Rose has crossed the line into adolescence and all the burden of angst that comes with that.


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