Spotlight Read: This One Summer

This One Summer. Graphic Novel. Comcis. Written by Mariko Tamaki. Art by Jillian Tamaki. First Second. Groundwood Books. House of Anansi Press. May 6th 2014.Every summer, Rose goes with her mom 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 mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It’s a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age—a story of renewal and revelation.

I haven’t done a Spotlight Read in a while but it feels fitting to do it today for this particular book. The Governor General’s Literary Award is a pretty big deal in Canada and the duo behind the awesome graphic novel, This One Summer, were nominated. Yesterday, Jillian Tamaki won for Children’s Literature (Illustration) and I’m so happy for her. You should all get this book. It’s visually stunning and the storytelling is wonderfully paced (woot Mariko Tamaki!). If you love young adult fiction and want to get into comics, this is definitely the book to check out.

Congrats on the GG nominations and win.

— A. A. Omer

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