This book is so beautifully drawn; it's like cutting through a slice of room temperature butter. I love the lines and texture of the drawings. The writing flowed really lovely; poetic and lyrical. It was a beautiful slice of life book, that almost reads in vignettes. Characters are built up through the things that they do, or what they say. They're also built up through lists, which I found intriguing. I could not put this book down. -Ashley
A beautiful slice-of-life story that is This One Summer meets Ursula K. Le Guin’s Very Far Away from Anywhere Else, told in flashbacks
16-year-old Raquel lives in a small town in Portugal, the kind of place where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Her parents are divorced and she’s just been suspended for cursing out a school aide asking about her father’s new marriage. She has two best friends, Luísa and Fred, but wants something more. Then, from afar, she sees Pardalita, a senior and a gifted artist who’s moving to Lisbon to study in the fall. The two girls get to know each other while working on a play. And Raquel falls in love.
Using a gorgeous blend of prose poems, illustrations, and graphic novel format, author and artist Joana Estrela captures the feeling of being a teenager in a way that feels gentle, joyful, and real.
P R A I S E
★ “Intimate…Through a fledgling queer romance, the creator presents a story of change, connection, and transformation.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)
★ "The elegant simplicity of this book belies the artistic depth and emotional resonance contained within. Will leave readers in quiet, piercing satisfaction." —Booklist (starred)
★ “A leisurely, emotional stroll through a slice-of-life story that explores identity and sexuality in an authentically sweet and subtle way.” —School Library Journal (starred)
★ “The writing style is intriguing and deliberate...the slice-of-life approach working perfectly with Estrela’s creative vision in switching up formats to best convey Raquel’s intense and powerful self-discovery…this tender, warm book will likely enchant all romantic fans.” —BCCB (starred)
“Effectively conveys adolescent turmoil, the heady intoxication of first love, and sweet moments of connection as young queer love blossoms. The book’s strength lies in its careful presentation of telling details. Quietly resonant and sincerely told.” —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Joana Estrela was born in Penafiel, Portugal in 1990. She started drawing family portraits at an early age, writing funny subtitles to go along with them. Her methods haven’t changed a lot since—what motivates her to start a book is still the joy that comes with it. She is a graduate of the Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto and has won awards in her home country for both her picture books and her graphic novels.
Lyn Miller-Lachmann is an author, translator, and teacher. Her books for teens and younger readers include Gringolandia, Rogue, Torch, She Persisted: Temple Grandin, and the verse novel Moonwalking, co-authored with Zetta Elliott. She translates picture books and middle grade novels from Portuguese to English. She lives in New York City.
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