Author: Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki
Publisher: First Second
This graphic novel from the Tamaki cousins tells the story of friends Rose and Windy, who holiday every summer with their families at Awago Beach. During this particular summer, the two girls witness a drama playing out amongst a group of older teenagers, and Rose deals with turmoil within her own family. Bittersweet and poignant in its observations on growing up, Mariko’s story is perfectly accompanied by Jillian’s beautifully moody illustrations.
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It’s the kind of story that transports the reader back to what feels like, for me at least, a lost age of innocence. Rose and Windy inhabit that tenuous stage between childhood and young-adulthood, striving to shed their childlike traditions while unable to completely leave them behind. The way that they perceive the antics of the older kids at the beach reminds me of how I used to look at the ‘big kids’, not able to comprehend them, but also wanting so badly to be them. Be prepared to feel more than a little nostalgic.