Title: All Summer Long
Author: Hope Larson
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: May 1, 2018
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, and he’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.
There are a lot of middle grade graphic novels set in the summer. The summer is a funny time in childhood because you’re in between grades at school, and you don’t get to see your friends. I can see why this is a setting in so many kids books.
The main character, Bina, is going through a difficult time. She is often pushed to the side at home because her older brother is adopting a baby with his husband. Her best friend, Austin, has gone away to soccer camp. She hangs out with Austin’s sister, but she only spends time with Bina when it’s convenient for her. These are difficult things to deal with, but they go along with growing up.
There was also some diverse representation in the story. Bina is mixed race. Her brother has a male partner. Austin’s sister dates an Asian boy. It’s nice to see some subtle representation in this story, where it is just a natural part of life.
I really enjoyed this middle grade novel.
What to read next:
Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Goldie Vance Vol. 1 by Hope Larson, Brittney Williams, and Sarah Stern
Have you read All Summer Long? What did you think of it?