"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, November 23, 2023


A graphic memoir.

Title: A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat

Opening quote:
"I grew up in a small town just outside of Los Angeles." pg. 1

Friday56 (pag 56) quote:
Charles De Gaulle Airport: "Okay, everyone grab your bags! After you do that we'll all end up at the south end of the baggage claim!" Okay, let's go get our stuff." Come on, Dan."

Summary: After being bullied all the way through middle school Dan has low expectations about everything, including the three-week trip to Europe with other students his age. "But during his travels, a series of first begin to change him -- first Fanta, first fondue, and maybe even...first girlfriend?" The book is heartfelt and heartwarming. It also felt so true. Do you remember those torturous middle school years? How did we survive?

Review: On November 15, 2023, just a few days ago, the National Book Award for Young People's literature went to this book A First Time for Everything. Since I always try to read at least two of the National Book Award winners or finalists, it was a no-brainer that I would select this book. I enjoy graphic memoirs if they are done well -- and this one is. It felt so true -- the awkwardness, the uncertainty, the mixed-up emotions, the abrupt shifts in moods. Dan Santat nailed them all. I loved the message about how travel can really help us get a new perspective on ourselves, too.

The book is labeled at a memoir for middle grade readers but I think it fits more in the YA milieu. As an adult, I loved it and didn't feel like I was reading a book for little kids either. I'd age range it 12 years to adults. If your library doesn't have a copy, be sure to request that they buy one.

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As many of you know Freda over at Freda's Voice hosted #Friday56 for many years. On September 7th she told us she was going through some personal stuff and could no longer host. I've attempted to reach her but have had no reply. So I will host The Friday56 until she comes back. So that all past participants figure out where and how to find me, please post your URL to Inlinkz below and this post on your blog. Thanks.

Freda, if you are reading this, we miss you. We've got this, so don't worry about us. Get well or take care of what needs your attention right now and we hope to welcome you back soon.

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