A First Time for Everything

by Dan Santat
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Content: There is some smoking by European teenagers, as well as beer drinking (the legal age is different in Germany!). There is also some kissing. It’s in the Middle Grade graphic novel section of the bookstore.

In the summer of 1989, right after 8th grade, Santat had the opportunity to go with classmates to Europe and spend three weeks there. They spent a couple of days in Paris, and then in Austria, Germany, and finally to London. This is the story of his experiences. There’s more to it than that: it’s about Santat finding his voice again after being bullied in Middle School. it’s how he figures out how to be in a relationship and make friends. But mostly, it’s about having great experiences and making great memories.

The art, obviously, is fantastic – I love the way Santat captures not only the grandness of European towns but also the silliness of being a 13/14-year-old IN Europe, mostly unsupervised. It’s a charming book, because Santat is a charming guy, and it’s a great travel book; he made me feel like I was there in Europe. It’s a good story, it’s one of growth and learning and having experiences. It’s one that I think kids will really like, but one that I could apreciate as an adult, too.

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