Quill and Quire

Books of the Year

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Kidlit books of the year 2014

Year in review 2014Books for Young People editor Dory Cerny selects the cute, the smart, and the fearless kidlit of 2014


This One Summer
Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
(Groundwood Books)

There is no denying the brilliance of Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, especially when they join forces. The cousins, whose first graphic-novel collaboration, Skim, was a 2008 Q&Q Book of the Year (Mariko’s YA novel (You) Set Me on Fire was also a pick for 2012), demonstrate in each effort their complete understanding of teendom, and don’t shy away from its harsher realities.

This One Summer (Groundwood) captures two cottage-country friends as they teeter on the verge of adolescence, the girls’ experiences relayed through Jillian’s dynamic illustrations and Mariko’s pitch-perfect text. Though both women are talented in their own right, to separate their contributions here is pointless: the book is the product of a hive-mind creative genius and reads as a complete package. Here’s hoping the Tamaki cousins see fit to work together again soon.