While I quite enjoyed All Summer Long, a graphic novel by Hope Larson ($28.99, Raincoast Books, Farrar Straus Giroux), I am glad my nine-year-old son got bored after Week 3 (the book is broken up into weeks) and didn’t want to finish it.
While the book is supposed to be for 10 to 12 year olds, I found some of the content, including the choices made by some of the characters, to be inappropriate for my son. While I understand children seem to be growing up faster these days and books like these are good so you can talk about choices made and the difference between right and wrong, I also feel, at nine or even 10, he is too young to be reading teen things. He will be there soon enough. There is no need to rush it.
All Summer Long follows the story of 13-year-old Bina, who has a long summer ahead of her. Usually she and her best friend Austin would hang out, participating in their Summer Fun Index, but he is off to summer camp, plus he is acting strange.
Bina starts her summer watching useless TV and practising guitar until she finds a friend in Austin’s older sister, Charlie, who has been sidelined from her own summer plans by a broken arm.
“But then Austin comes home from camp acting even weirder than when he left. Can Bina and Austin get back the way things used to be? Or does growing up mean growing apart?”
I found the content got to be more teen based after Week 3, which is likely why my son no longer was interested in reading about it.
Beginning at Week 4, Charlie made more of an appearance and I really didn’t like that character, particularly how she treated Bina and the choices she made. I found her very irresponsible and awful. I liked Bina and how marched to her own drum. I also really liked her family including her brothers and her dad, who has a great relationship with his daughter – easy and fun.
The book was a quick read with some great lessons including about friendship, family and being yourself.
A copy of this book was provided by Raincoast Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.