Summertime Blues

Book 2

From the Series Lou!

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 9
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

Summertime is here! But there’s no sun, surf, or sand for Lou. Instead, it’s Brussels sprouts, mud, and mosquitoes. Lou and her mom are off to spend the summer with Memaw in the most boring town on earth. Lou’s mom keeps busy by exchanging love letters with her new sweetheart, Richard, but Lou’s crush, Tristan, only sends her a lousy postcard. Will meeting a new boy chase Lou’s blues away? Paul’s not exactly a heartthrob, but he’s sweet and . . . unusual. He’s nothing like Tristan, but could he be just as crush-worthy?

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 9
Reading Level Grade 5
Genre Graphic Novels
Copyright 2012
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Graphic Universe ™
Language English
Number of Pages 48
Publication Date 2014-08-01
Reading Counts! Level 3.2
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV008000, JUV013000, JUV013020
Dewey 741.5'944
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 7.75 x 10.25
Lexile 350
Guided Reading Level U
ATOS Reading Level 2.3
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 149571
Accelerated Reader® Points 1.0
Features Awards, Original artwork, and Reviewed


  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2013


Teacher Librarian

“Lou! deserves every bit of its international acclaim, and you might as well get on the bandwagon now.” —Teacher Librarian

Library Media Connection

“With fun, full-color illustrations, this graphic novel is able to portray the daily life of Lou in a playful manner while relaying pre-teen heartache and angst.” —Library Media Connection

The Horn Book Guide

“In these French imports, twelve-year-old Lou ponders problems such as being teased at school, experiencing unrequited love, and having an underemployed single mom who is a writer/couch potato. The format makes them look like picture books, but the stories are told in comic panels; the dialogue and illustrations are lively, the concerns familiar (although overly focused on stereotypical romantic situations), and the characters appealing.” —The Horn Book Guide

School Library Journal

“Readers, especially girls, will enjoy these strong, funny charactersand the true-to-life dilemmas that they face and overcome.”—School Library Journal

Writing through Rose-Tinted Glasses

Summertime Blues is the second book in the popular “Lou” series by Julien Neel. This was a wonderful story that had Lou and her mother traveling to Memaw’s place to spend the summer away from the city. Both Lou and her mother aren’t too happy about it since it’s in the countryside and supposed to be one of the most boring towns ever. But while staying in Memaw’s house, Lou’s Mom keeps in touch with Patrick, while Lou is down in the dumps from only getting a single undesirable postcard from her crush Tristan. Luckily, she finds friendship with another boy named Paul in town, and that gives Lou some incredible experiences for the summer that are sweet and humorous.

Summertime Blues has some of the same laugh out loud humor as the first book, and I loved the development of the relationship between the characters. It was great to see some of the recurring characters (Mina, Patrick, Tristan, Memaw, the cat whose name changes every week) along with some of the newer characters (Paul, Memaw’s next door neighboor, etc.) The artwork is colorful and vibrant, and I love the design of the characters. I think this is a wonderful series for kids/teens to pick up and something that I think adults can enjoy as well. Wonderfully illustrated and narrated. Lou is definitely an awesome teen for new readers to follow.

Author, Illustrator: Julien Neel

Award-winning author and artist Julien Neel began his career as a host of business seminars. His musical puppet show on developing management skills was unfortunately made obsolete by PowerPoint presentations, forcing him to consider a new career in music. After a tour of Europe, his band split over irreconcilable differences about food. He eventually settled in Aix-en-Provence and has joyfully devoted himself exclusively to comics creation for the past ten years or so.