This One Summer

This One Summer

Book - 2014
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Winner of the Governor General's Award for Children's Illustration

Rose and Windy are summer friends whose families have visited Awago Beach for as long as they can remember. But this year is different, and they soon find themselves tangled in teen love and family crisis. From the creators of Skim comes an investigation into the mysterious world of adults.

Sure, Rose's dad is still making cheesy and embarrassing jokes, but her mother is acting like she doesn't even want to be there. Plus, being at the cottage isn't just about going to the beach anymore. Now Rose and Windy are spending a lot of their time renting scary movies and spying on the teenagers who work at the corner store, as well as learning stuff about sex no one mentioned in health class.

Pretty soon everything is messed up. Rose's father leaves the cottage and returns to the city, and her mother becomes more and more withdrawn. While her family is falling to pieces, Rose focuses her attention on Dunc, a teenager working at the local corner store. When Jenny, Dunc's girlfriend, claims to be pregnant, the girls realize that the teenagers are keeping just as many secrets as the adults in their lives.

No one seems to want to talk about the things that matter. When the tension between Dunc and Jenny boils over, Jenny makes a desperate and destructive move and Rose's mother is galvanized into action. In the aftermath, nothing is completely resolved, but secrets have been aired, which means that things are at least a bit better for everyone. For Rose and Windy, the end of summer brings the realization that, while Awago Beach might always be the same, they have both been changed forever.

From Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, creators of the multi-award-winning graphic novel Skim, comes a stunning and authentic story of friendship, illustrated with subtly heart-breaking moments and pure summer joy.

Publisher: Toronto : Groundwood Books/House of Anansi, ©2014.
ISBN: 9781554981526
Characteristics: 317 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Tamaki, Jillian 1980-


From the critics

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Nov 02, 2018

Really very cool.
My 14 year old daughter and I both really enjoyed it. Covers some big topics but with a very light hand. The artwork is gorgeous, and changes pace with the story. Characters are likeable and believable.
Please don't believe graphic novels have to be stupid or about superheroes. This one is neither.

Aug 28, 2018

This One Summer is a graphic novel by Mariko Tamaki. Every summer Rose and her family go to the lake house in Awago Beach. Together with her friend Windy, the duo discover that this summer is much different than the last. I wouldn't normally address this, but the book does have some language and content that people may or may not be comfortable with. When I first started reading it caught me off guard, but it really helps to capture the true innocence of being a child. Don't be fooled by the cover, are plenty of times when the book turns morbid and sad. There's really not much else to say about This One Summer, aside from the very well done illustrations. 2 Stars @Ruby_Tuesday of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

TechLibrarian Apr 25, 2018

This One Summer is a beautiful graphic novel which manages to convey the feelings of being a teen in the summertime. This will be especially true if your family ever spent time at a beach house. It's not all fun and games; This One Summer leans into some unsettling themes. For this reason, it wouldn't be good for younger audiences, but will appeal to adults as much as to teens. It's a quick read, so ideal if you're looking for something entertaining to read at the lake. Or, if you've got spring fever and want to bring the feeling of summertime nearer, this book would be ideal!

strangegazelle Mar 01, 2018

"This One Summer" has a level of character in its painterly, shades of purple visual design that blended well with its teen drama. Particularly and without spoiling it, there's a point near the end that ties together and concludes two of the main plots in a masterstroke of visual and narrative craftsmanship. I was very impressed with this book.

Jan 18, 2018

This One Summer is a coming of age story that is very honest in ways most books would be afraid to even attempt. Beautifully illustrated as well as very poetic and thought provoking I'd highly recommend.

MGBustillo Sep 23, 2017

Celebrate the Freedom to Read!

Read the top challenged book of 2016. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice

ArapahoeLaura Jul 30, 2017

The slow pace makes you feel like you're in the middle of a languid summer of your youth, but it also deals with family issues, growing up, and life.

Jul 29, 2017

This graphic novel gives the reader a glimpse into the life of a 14 year old girl and her family. Mariko Tamaki gives a lifetime of context for her characters, making the novel feel like just the first chapter in a much larger story. The illustrations draw the reader in and carry us through the thoughts and emotions of Rose and Windy, best friends for just 10 days a year at their summer cottages. I liked this story because instead of being a coming of age story, it simply presented a snapshot of teenage life.

ArapahoeTiegan Jul 11, 2017

This is a nice coming-age-of-age story. Rose and her family take a trip to Awago Beach every summer, but this summer is different. Her parents are fighting a lot and she isn't really sure why. Rose and her friend, Windy, take advantage of their parents' distraction by watching a couple horror movies, which I thought was wonderful - what kids this age don't try to push the boundaries in this way? Rose and Windy also get caught up in some local drama circling the older teens who work at the convenience store. All around, the girls are really starting to learn more about growing up and how they personally feel about certain situations. While they differ in many ways, they still seem to respect each other's feelings and are looking forward to next summer and seeing how much more they will change.

Apr 27, 2017

Wow! Just wow!! This is my first foray into the world of the graphic novel and I was not left disappointed. I've never had the urge to read graphic novels. Why would I, as an adult, read what could only be described as a souped-up version of a very expensive Archie comic. Boy, was I ill informed- and wrong... oh-so-wrong!

Why would someone as closed minded as myself pick this book up in the first place? Because it topped the American Library Association's Top 10 Most Challenged Books for 2016. That's why. I may have assumed that a "comic" would never be worth my while and I would have been happy to leave it at that EXCEPT when I learn that a book is banned I feel compelled to pick it up. Banning this book? It must be great! It will likely challenge my ideals. It may possibly cause me to *gasp* think. Maybe it contains some naughty words. Or some nudity. Or some violence. Or perhaps it just contains ideas that move beyond the Disney-fied version of the world and will make me simply FEEL.

Sure, there are some mature topics. Absolutely there are a few "naughty" words that some parents may not want their 10 year old reading (though I would wager that most 10 year olds hear them in real life each and every day.) Those may be reasons to not read this book but you will be doing yourself a disservice if you let a few curse words prevent you from picking up Tamaki's book. The artwork is stunning. The themes are compelling. The characters are real.

This book goes way beyond the "comic" status I was willing to afford it. This book is poetry. Mariko and Jillian Tomaki have created a book where the silences are just as moving as the language. This book is so dynamic. It is true. It is wonderful. It makes me proud to be a Canadian.

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Aug 22, 2018

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Aug 01, 2014

Sexual Content: Sex isn't actually depicted, but it's discussed frequently among the two heroines. An unplanned pregnancy plays a very important role to the sub-plot and the father and his friends treat the pregnant girl cruelly. Birth control is also frequently mentioned.

Aug 01, 2014

Coarse Language: Stronger language than the typical teen graphic novel (including F- and S-words) but it's used realistically.


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Jul 09, 2015

Two young teens reunite for another summer vacation, only with this vacation, they experience darker tones coming from older teens and adults around them.


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