Friday 11 March 2016

This One Summer

Finished March 9
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

This graphic novel tells the story of one summer at the cottage at Awago Beach. The central character is Rose, who is around twelve. She and her parents have been going to the cottage for years, since she was a little girl. She spends most of her time with a slightly younger girl, Windy, who stays at a nearby cottage with her mother and, for part of the time, her grandmother.
Rose's mother seems distant and possibly depressed, and her parents fight a lot. She responds by withdrawing, yet also trying to eavesdrop on conversations between the various adults.
The two girls note the young man at the counter of the nearby convenience store, and the drama surrounding him and his friends. Rose is particularly drawn to this. They also spend time surreptitiously watching classic horror movies, until Windy finally has enough.
This is a summer with a lot happening. Despite the lazy days, the time spent lying on the beach, tubing, or swimming, people's lives are changing.
This book has been the subject of protest in some jurisdictions, so I chose it to see what the objections were about. Aimed at a teen audience, I see nothing here to warrant any concerns. All the issues present are ones that teenagers would expect to encounter in real life. I also chose it because the authors are Canadian.