Middle-Grade Fiction Review – The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles

The Last Last-Day-of-SummerSynopsis: When two adventurous cousins accidentally extend the last day of summer by freezing time, they find the secrets hidden between the unmoving seconds, minutes, and hours are not the endless fun they expected.

Otto and Sheed are the local sleuths in their zany Virginia town, masters of unraveling mischief using their unmatched powers of deduction. And as the summer winds down and the first day of school looms, the boys are craving just a little bit more time for fun, even as they bicker over what kind of fun they want to have. That is, until a mysterious man appears with a camera that literally freezes time. Now, with the help of some very strange people and even stranger creatures, Otto and Sheed will have to put aside their differences to save their town—and each other—before time stops for good.  

Age Range: 10 – 12 years
Grade Level: 5 – 7
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Versify (April 2, 2019)
Artist: Dapo Adeola
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1328460835
ISBN-13: 978-1328460837

Genre: Middle-grade fiction / Adventure
My Rating: **** (4  of 5 stars)

Cousins Otto and Sheed are lamenting the impending start of school and trying to decide what to do with their last free day when an adventure drops right into their laps. A man calling himself Mr. Flux offers to take a photo of the two, but before he can snap the pic, the sky opens up and another man appears warning them to take the camera and run, and NOT TO TAKE ANY MORE PICTURES.

They soon figure out that the camera is actually capable of stopping time, and the adventure that ensues is a wild one! There are more fantastic creatures, people, and events than I could name if I wanted to.  The story is not just a sci/fi, fantasy, mystery adventure story though. It is also a tale about friendship and respect for other people, but those themes are so well woven into the story that a young reader will never feel they are being lectured or taught something along the way.

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer would make a great read this summer when the kids are out of school. Thank you so much to the author and publicist for sending me a copy of the book to review.

About the Author
Photo credit: Adrienne Giles
Lamar Giles is a well-published author and a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. Lamar has two novels forthcoming in 2019: his debut middle grade fantasy THE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER (Versify / HMH) and his fourth YA thriller SPIN (Scholastic).

Lamar Giles is a two-time Edgar Award finalist in the YA category, for his debut YA thriller FAKE ID (HarperCollins, 2014), and his second YA thriller, ENDANGERED (HarperCollins, 2015). His third YA thriller, OVERTURNED (Scholastic, 2017) received this glowing New York Times review, and was named a Kirkus Best Book of 2017. You can see the book trailer for OVERTURNED here. FAKE ID has been optioned by Sony Pictures.

Lamar is a contributor to the YA anthology THREE SIDES OF A HEART (HarperCollins, 2017), the editor of the We Need Diverse Books YA short story anthology FRESH INK (Random House 2018), a contributor to the forthcoming YA anthology BLACK ENOUGH: STORIES OF BEING YOUNG & BLACK IN AMERICA (HarperCollins / Balzer & Bray 2019), and a contributor to a forthcoming We Need Diverse Books middle grade anthology THE HERO NEXT DOOR (Random House 2019). He has published several short stories for adults. You can see tv interviews with Lamar here, and here, and here, and in a truly fun “Fun Facts” short interview, created by HarperCollins.

We Need Diverse Books™ Mission Statement:

Putting more books featuring diverse characters into the hands of all children.

We Need Diverse Books™ Vision: 

A world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book.

One thought on “Middle-Grade Fiction Review – The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles

  1. A good mid-school book should set examples as well as keep a young readers interest. Sounds like this one makes the grade. Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

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