This One Summer


by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Rose returns every summer to the same lakeside cottage with her parents, only this year, her parents won’t stop fighting and her mom can’t relax. It turns out that they were trying to have another baby and not succeeding. Rose escapes to her summer friendship with a younger girl named Windy, and they get caught up in the drama of the town’s teenagers, two of whom have a pregnancy scare.

Windy’s annoying and immature character comes across clearly (and honestly, is the reason for the half-point deduction, otherwise this would be a four-star). Rose is maybe in seventh or eighth grade, and Windy is a year or two younger. They spend a lot of time watching horror movies and getting scared. They also spend some time trying out the word slut and one of the girls’ moms puts her foot down on that, though they continue to hear it from the teenagers, especially in light of the drama. Spoiler alert: the teen girl who is pregnant is harassed by the teen boys who make it seem like her fault and tries to drown herself, but Rose sees and gets her mom to rescue her. Also Rose’s dad leaves for a bit, she is angry at him for leaving her with her mopey mother, and counts the days until he reappears. It reminded me a little of Sunny Side Up, only not quite as good. The art is all in purplish-blue tones and it’s just right for the seriousness of the topics (and earned a Caldecott Honor and Printz Honor).

2 thoughts on “This One Summer

  1. Pingback: Honor Girl | Check Out My Book Rack

  2. Pingback: Real Friends by Shannon Hale | Check Out My Book Rack

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