Cover image for All summer long / Hope Larson.
Title:
All summer long / Hope Larson.
Author:
ISBN:
9780374310714
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2018.

©2018
Physical Description:
170 pages : chiefly colour illustrations ; 21 cm
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Summary

Summary

All Summer Long , a coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel about summer and friendships, written and illustrated by the Eisner Award-winning and New York Times -bestselling Hope Larson.

Thirteen-year-old Bina has a long summer ahead of her. She and her best friend, Austin, usually do everything together, but he's off to soccer camp for a month, and he's been acting kind of weird lately anyway. So it's up to Bina to see how much fun she can have on her own. At first it's a lot of guitar playing, boredom, and bad TV, but things look up when she finds an unlikely companion in Austin's older sister, who enjoys music just as much as Bina. But then Austin comes home from camp, andhe's acting even weirder than when he left. How Bina and Austin rise above their growing pains and reestablish their friendship and respect for their differences makes for a touching and funny coming-of-age story.


Author Notes

Hope Larson adapted and illustrated A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel , which spent forty-four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and for which she won an Eisner Award. She is also the author and illustrator of Salamander Dream , Gray Horses , Chiggers , and Mercury , and the author of Compass South and Knife's Edge , both illustrated by Rebecca Mock. She lives in Los Angeles.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

About-to-be-eighth-graders Bina and Austin have been friends ever since they can remember, but now Austin is at soccer camp, posting bro pics on social media and ignoring Bina's texts. Austin's intimidating, sardonic older sister, Charlie, is stuck at home with a broken arm and seems willing to hang out-unless the boy she likes shows up. When Charlie shows a nasty side and Austin continues to cold-shoulder Bina even after he gets back, Bina struggles, though warm words and sweet gestures from friends and family help her through. Most crucial is the portrait that Larson (Mercury) draws of Bina as a guitarist and songwriter, a musician whose deepest fulfillment comes from within herself. "Lots of people spend forever looking for something they care about. Sometimes they never find it," Bina's older brother Davey tells her, "but you already have." Larson's graphic novel zeroes in on conversational encounters, with dialogue that's fresh and funny ("You're a stone-cold psycho and I kinda admire that," Charlie tells Bina when they begin to hang out), and her close-up drawings of expressive faces add intimacy to the interchanges she captures. Ages 10-12. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

This sensitive, realistic coming-of-age graphic novel by Eisner winner (most recently, for her Wrinkle in Time graphic novel adaptation) Larson beautifully captures the experiences of finding ones own rhythm and place in a family and among changing friendships. Its the summer before eighth grade. Binas longtime BFF and next-door neighbor Austin, away at soccer camp, stops responding to her texts. Bored and impressionable, Bina starts hanging out with Charlie, Austins older sister, who shares her love of music. Bina is pushed outside of her comfort zone, into babysitting gigs, flirting with boys, and other awkward, true-to-life situations. Through it all, Bina has her guitar, which she plays in reflective, private moments. When Austin returns from camp, the two must confront what is going on with their friendship--still platonic--and how it will evolve as they grow older. Dialogue (shown through texts, phone conversations, and traditional speech bubbles) is both endearing and believable. Close-up images of chord fingerings at the start of each chapter reflect progressions in both time and melody, while the use of a monochromatic palette with sunny oranges brings to mind sunrises and sunsets, beginnings and endings. Unobtrusive panels and lettering allow Larsons depictions of small, indelible moments of summer (playing mini-golf, becoming a first-time aunt, and seeing a favorite band play a gig) to shine. Give this to fans of This One Summer (rev. 7/14), Roller Girl (rev. 3/15), and The First Rule of Punk (rev. 7/17). elisa gall (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


New York Review of Books Review

Entertainment and enrichment go hand in hand in the best summer books for kids. when I was A girl, my friends and I clung to each other and even to our teachers during the June goodbyes. Nonetheless, we chanted with glee, "No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks! " We conjured lazy days unfettered from loudspeaker announcements, bells and evaluation by report card. Recalling such moments, one might be forgiven for appreciating summer children's books that demand very little - the counterparts of popsicles, inflated pool toys and hypnotic screen time. Yet deeper summertime literary pleasures, too, are one of life's great joys. These three books for young readers - all set after school's out - contain education and entertainment, nuanced instruction and unalloyed amusement. Summer books for children can and should include both. SECRET SISTERS OF THE SALTY SEA (GREENWILLOW, 232 PP., $16.99; AGES 8 TO 12), the Newbery medalist Lynne Rae Perkins's exquisite new book that includes her own pencil illustrations, offers limpid observation, deft dialogue, delicate touches of humor and a sensibility that brings to mind Emily's famous line from Thornton Wilder's "Our Town": "Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you." Perkins is a poetic sorceress whose authorial wand wafts over the pages of her book and gently probes the depths of children's souls. Her story starts with a sense of wonder: "The bottom of the sky glowed deep electric blue.... Overhead it was still velvety black, prickled with stars." Two sisters, burrowing under an unzippered sleeping bag in the back seat of their family car, are speeding off at night on a long drive to their first ocean vacation, one week long. Later in the book, Perkins builds up to an image that stops the heart. After many adventures from which both girls learn about tides and conservation, about the ebb and flow of desire, about the fact that small things compel intense interest if you pay them mind, and about how a younger sister's spunk can evoke admiration in her more accomplished sibling, the family bikes to a wildlife refuge, where injured birds of prey are healed. When a stunned peregrine falcon is brought in, Sara, the keeper, wraps the bird in a blanket 'as if it were a baby" and asks Alix, the younger sister, if she would like to hold it. The little girl feels the bird's warm heart racing against her body and speaks softly to it. On the last day of their ocean stay, Alix returns with her mother to the center and learns that the bird she held in her arms is not badly injured and can now be released into the wild. Sara asks Alix if she would like to do it. Bravely, Alix dons heavy, over-the-elbow leather gloves and takes the rapier-clawed bird, suddenly alert and eager to escape. Alix fears she cannot hold on. At the keeper's countdown and "release!," Alix raises her arms. Perkins writes: "She let go with her hands. The weight of the falcon lifted. The falcon realized he was free and raised his magnificent wings." As the child bids him goodbye, the bird of prey soars into the sky and disappears over the treetops. I see in it a stirring metaphor. Summertime, after all, bespeaks freedom. Children, liberated from classrooms and homework, are released outdoors and nourished by fresh air and sunshine. They shoot out tendrils in new directions. Summertime is when children sprout up in inches as well as in psychic dimensions for which we have no measure. The release of the falcon, previously wrapped like a baby, evokes the moment when, suddenly, a child grasps that she is growing toward freedom. Alix lets go, and the creature sails off, leaving protection and care behind, venturing forth into the unknown. Likewise, Perkins's lovely book inspires young people to do what they must do, namely, grow up. ALL SUMMER LONG (FARRAR, STRAUS & GIROUX, 172 PP., $12.99; AGES 10 TO 12), a tWOtone graphic novel by Hope Larson, spins the dial from girlhood toward adolescence. Many women can think back and recall a summer when things changed forever, a bit like that dramatic switch in Dorothy Gale's life from black and white to color; and here we have it. Bina, a tall, talented, music-loving, guitar-playing black-haired girl of 13, has a longtime best friend, short, blond, unmusical Austin, who is off to soccer camp for a month, leaving Bina at loose ends because in past summers they always played a special game together. Whereas in early childhood friendships take shape by reason of proximity, later they alter as interests diverge and new bonds form, and Larson's story tracks this painful, exhilarating process. Austin not only withdraws from Bina, he informs her toward the end of the story that he has a girlfriend from soccer camp who is "cute and awesome. And short!" But mild-mannered Bina, who has put up with the highhandedness of Austin's older sister (to whom she turns for companionship in Austin's absence), shows little jealousy. When school starts in the fall, she adaptively moves on, taking steps to create her own band. Other aspects of her life are changing as well: Bina's gay older brother, Johnny, and his husband, Deon, adopt a baby. Before she feels she's ready, Bina herself is thrust into the role of babysitter for a little boy in the neighborhood. Earlier, in my favorite moment in the novel, we see a nod toward Bina's constructive response to losing Austin in an interaction between Bina and another of her older brothers, edgy Davey, who drops in on the family unexpectedly after working as an adventure guide. He tells Bina she is lucky because "you already found your thing" - music. We understand that while friendships may change or fade, Bina, like so many young people, has the chance to stay on track during adolescence by pursuing a strong interest. This moment of fraternal wisdom illuminates Larson's novel, and her images of the siblings' affectionate embraces are among the most memorable. THE CARDBOARD KINGDOM (KNOPF, 281 PP., $20.99; ages 7 to io), also a graphic novel, reminds us that children's summer reading can be sheer entertainment. The highly saturated full-colored pages by Chad Sell, with help from several other cartoonists, including Jay Fuller, Katie Schenkel and Manuel Betancourt, present a gang of diverse neighborhood kids who, in a series of loosely connected fast-paced plots, create fantasies together. They construct sets and assume roles like Banshee, Sorceress, Gargoyle, Bully and Beast, with costumes derived from fairy tale villains and monsters, among other sources. There is plenty of excitement, aggression, competition and gender-bending. Horror vacui might seem an apt term for these frenetic pages. (Think of speech bubbles like: "GRRAR," "EEEEEEE!!!" "AWOOOOO!") Some children may delight in the action-packed episodes, even if others, who gravitate toward quieter pleasures, may feel bombarded. Still, children's tastes are in evolution, forming day by day, open to novelty. The unstructured summer months ahead are an especially good time to offer them a smorgasbord of reading options. ellen handler spitz is Honors College Professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Her most recent book is "Illuminating Childhood."