A First Time for Everything

Winner, National Book Awards 2023 for Young People's Literature

ISBN 9781626724150
First Second / Macmillan Publishers
Author photo of Dan Santat. (Photo credit: Dan Santat)
Dan Santat

Dan Santat is the Caldecott Medal-winning and New York Times-bestselling author and illustrator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend and the road trip/time travel adventure Are We There Yet? More about this author >

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From the publisher:

Dan’s always been a good kid. The kind of kid who listens to his teachers, helps his mom with grocery shopping, and stays out of trouble. But being a good kid doesn’t stop him from being bullied and feeling like he’s invisible, which is why Dan has low expectations when his parents send him on a class trip to Europe.

At first, he’s right. He’s stuck with the same girls from his middle school who love to make fun of him, and he doesn’t know why his teacher insisted he come on this trip. But as he travels through France, Germany, Switzerland, and England, a series of first experiences begin to change him—first Fanta, first fondue, first time stealing a bike from German punk rockers… and first love.

Funny, heartwarming, and poignant, A First Time for Everything is a feel-good coming-of-age memoir based on New York Times bestselling author and Caldecott Medal winner Dan Santat’s awkward middle school years. It celebrates a time that is universally challenging for many of us, but also life-changing as well.

Judges Citation

In A First Time for Everything, an earnestly relatable, endlessly charming graphic memoir, Dan Santat skillfully reconstructs his near-ninth-grade self. Pairing the right words with gorgeously expressive art, Santat expertly guides us on an adventurous coming-of-age school trek across Europe and reminds us that making space for cheesy mementos, serendipitous love, new friends—oh, and copious amounts of Fanta—is always the perfect way to travel. This masterpiece of a memoir is not to be missed.


Dan Santat accepts 2023 National Book Award for Young People’s Lit. for A First Time for Everything

Dan Santat at the 2023 National Book Awards Finalist Reading