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MY LAST SUMMER WITH CASS by Mark Crilley Kirkus Star


by Mark Crilley ; illustrated by Mark Crilley

Pub Date: March 16th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-7595-5546-4
Publisher: Little, Brown

Two lifelong friends have a summer in Brooklyn that alters them and their friendship forever.

Every summer until the girls were 13, Cassandra’s and Megan’s families vacationed in the same Michigan cottage, where the two early on discovered their artistic talents. That last summer Cass’ father didn’t show, and Megan worried about how different Cass seemed since they used to be so much alike. A few years later, an ecstatic Megan has convinced her controlling parents to let her visit Cass and her now-divorced mom in Brooklyn. Cass shows Megan around her version of New York, highlighting the stark contrasts between the two girls. Cass seems determined to shock sheltered, Midwestern Megan into becoming as bold and hardened as she is. Despite Cass’ intensity, Megan opens herself to the excitement of the city and begins her journey of finding out who she is separate from her parents’ wishes. Near the end of Megan’s trip, the girls collaborate on a piece that pushes Megan’s boundaries, causing her to make a decision that could cost their friendship. Through subtle, realistic lines and nostalgic, watercolor-style art, including several charming full-panel landscapes, the author creates an immersive story that will resonate with readers. Although the story is told from Megan’s perspective, Cass is very much a fully realized character in this tribute to honest, authentic, creative expression. Megan and Cass read as White, and there is diversity in background characters.

A beautiful coming-of-age story about art and friendship.

(Graphic fiction. 14-18)