This One Summer

This One Summer
Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, Written by Mariko Tamaki

Publisher’s Summary:
Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rose’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. One of the local teens – just a couple of years older than Rose and Windy – is caught up in something bad… Something life-threatening. It’s a summer of secrets, and sorrow, and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

Primary Source Pairing:
In her comments on why This One Summer was chosen for the Caldecott Honor Award, ALSC Blogger and member of the 2015 Caldecott Committee Angela Reynolds writes “Take a look at the amazing use of just one color. Jillian Tamaki creates mood so vividly with her washes of indigo, deepening the shade when the plot gets darker. The story has much to do with water; the monochromatic blues remind us just how changeable a lake (and an adolescent girl) can be” (

For this primary source pairing, invite students to review the pages of the book thinking about the color scheme and how the color plays a part in the story. Start with the image above showing Rose on a swing (page 50). Consider the use of color and how another color would impact the mood and tone of the story.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What’s happening in the image
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • Consider the colors of the image.
  • How do the colors contribute to the mood of the image?
  • How would the mood or tone of the image change if it was in a different color?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Let’s talk about Caldecott: This One Summer: Angela Reynolds on
Rose in a Swing Image:

Additional Resources:
Breaking Barriers: An Interview with the Creators of This One Summer:
Using Graphic Novels in Education: This One SummerComic Book Legal Defense Fund