This One Summer

This One Summer

Graphic Novel - 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 Rose's father leaves the cottage and returns to the city, and her mother becomes more and more withdrawn.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, 2014.
ISBN: 9781554981526
Branch Call Number: TEEN TAM
Characteristics: 317 pages :,illustrations
Additional Contributors: Tamaki, Jillian 1980-


From Library Staff

In This One Summer by Canadian cousins Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, Rose goes to meet her friend Windy each summer at the cottage. This summer is different, as the girls are teetering between girlhood and womanhood. Because of mentions of drug use, profanity, sexuality, and the inclusion of LGBTQ+ ... Read More »

Reasons: banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and certain illustrations.

Winner, Children's Literature - Illustration.

From the critics

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JCLFlanneryC Mar 19, 2020

"This One Summer" captures the frustrated feelings of early adolescence, when everything happens around you but nothing happens to you. A slow and subtle book elevated by Jillian Tamaki's illustrations which communicate so perfectly what it's like to listen, to watch, and wait. Her attention to the elements, the passage of time, etc., all give this book the lazy, sun-drunk feeling of summer, and the nowhere, no-one feeling of being thirteen and absolutely hating it. This may disappoint readers hoping for something high drama but if you can stand it, "This One Summer" has the languorous pace and moody mise en scene of a French new wave film. Lovely and highly recommended.

JCLBrittanyC Nov 01, 2019

The summary of this graphic describes Rose and her family heading to a
beach house each summer, but this one is unlike the rest. Rose’s parents are
constantly fighting while she finds herself caught up in a small beach town
tragedy. Now, when I read that, I was fired up; oh the drama, what could it
be! But in actually reading the graphic, I was quite disappointed. It didn’t
quite have the drama I was hoping for, and the parts that did grab my
attention left me wanting more. I would say you could skip this one if you had
it on your list.

Oct 17, 2019

Wonderful art, well written. I too think it's a great summer read. I enjoyed it a lot and would read it again.

Oct 09, 2019

The art in this novel was beautiful and did a great job of transporting you into Awago Beach. I felt really disappointed that there was barely any plot, turning points, or climax. So much was set up in the beginning but then barely anything happened?? I liked how the book brought up how everyone has their own problems, some being harder than others. You don't know what others are going through and how deeply it affects their actions.

Aug 16, 2019

I loved both the story and the illustrations in this graphic novel. The subject matter was heavy, but the author handled it beautifully and created a captivating narrative. The beautiful artwork drew me in, and the story kept me going to the end. The story had swearing, the difficulties of parenting, the hardships of teens and the sorrows of miscarriage, and I recommend this book to teens of all ages.

Jun 28, 2019

When I first saw this book, I thought that it would be a boring read. In truth, it was incredible. This is the first graphic novel that I read with swearing and mature subject matter. It captures those awkward years, and difficult family issues, with a seasoning of humour. And in the end, Rose and Windy's summer does not become a bummer after all.

ArapahoeChrisP May 21, 2019

Really enjoyed this one! Captures awkward adolescence pretty well. Good for both boys and girls.

Feb 08, 2019

This book really seemed to capture the feel of being 11. The artwork was gorgeous.

OPL_MichelleC Jan 17, 2019

A very authentic coming of age tale.

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.

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Oct 30, 2019

BattleCrow thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 22, 2019

newtomapleridge thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 16

Aug 22, 2018

casey_reid thinks this title is suitable for 6 years and over

Jul 27, 2018

sands7447 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Mar 28, 2018

blue_cheetah_7299 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Dec 24, 2016

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Dec 09, 2015

Red_Bird_90 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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Add Notices
Aug 01, 2014

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

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.


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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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