Graphic Novel Review: A First Time For Everything by Dan Santat

A First Time For Everything by Dan Santat. First Second, 2023. 9781626724150. 309pp plus an author’s note, a note on recreating old memories for the book, and many photos of Santat’s actual trip! And even the acknowledgments at the end are worth a read.

Santat’s graphic memoir opens with a scene of ultimate horror for any middle school student, and he captures it perfectly. It’s a brutal, embarrassing scene. It’s not gross, but he says it made him want to throw up and, I have to tell you, it made me want to throw up, too. The less you know about it going in the better. Forget I said anything.

The bulk of the book is about the three weeks Santat spent traveling in Europe with a few other students from school, none of whom is really his friend, and some other kids he doesn’t know. It’s an amazing story full of awkward moments I don’t want to be specific about, plus there’s a mutual crush and lots of friendship. It’s also just a great travel story and an ode to Fanta.

This is Santat’s third graphic novel and my personal favorite so far, though Sidekicks and The Aquanaut are both great, too.


2 thoughts on “Graphic Novel Review: A First Time For Everything by Dan Santat”

  1. Linda Wallace says:

    I really enjoyed this book as well. His notes at the end were great and it was a fun read. (I also learned a lot about Fanta!).

    1. Gene Ambaum says:

      Yeah now I absolutely can’t wait to visit Europe again in part to try all the flavors. 🙂

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