Review: This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

this one summer

I read the graphic novel This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki (illustrated by her cousin Jillian Tamaki) last year, and I loved it so much that I decided to include it in my booktalk for my YA Lit class in library school this month. To prepare for the talk, I read the book a second time, and I loved it even more. It’s a beautifully illustrated book and a touching story.

Do you and your family have a special place? A place where everything is perfect, and nothing ever seems to change?

For best friends Rose and Windy, that place is Awago Beach, where their families have summer homes. For as long as they can remember, the two girls have been reuniting on Awago for relaxing, carefree summers.

But this year, something is different.

Why won’t Rose’s parents stop fighting? Why is Rose meddling in the drama of the weird, older teens on Awago? And what’s the big secret Rose’s mom is keeping from her?

This novel offers a glimpse into a time for Rose when everything seems to be changing. She’s growing up. She has to face new family problems and crushes, and it’s really hard. She’s angry and hurt, and sometimes she takes it out on Windy.

Will Rose and Windy’s friendship survive this one summer, or will Awago cease to be their happy place?

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