Book Review: The Last Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles
Publisher’s Book Description:
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.
I’ve been reading more middle grade in the moment because, as some of you may recall, I’m raising an 11-year-old with dyslexia and this has proven the need for more read together time then raising a more independent reader has. I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while because it has elements in it that I thought would appeal to the both of us as huge Doctor Who fans, and I was not wrong. As I started reading this it immediately brought to mind some of my childhood favorites: The Phantom Tollbooth, A Wrinkle in Time and even Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
This is a delightful and engaging romp through a bizarre town (another favorite trope of mine!) where weird things happen and everyone just kind of accepts that. I loved the emphasis on family, small town life, and trying to get the most out of your summer. There was talk of self-esteem, having adventures, and working through your differences of opinions. There was problem solving and creative thinking and celebrating yourself and your community. But most of all, there was just a lot of hijinks and fun!
It’s summer – albeit a weird summer because we’re in the midst of a pandemic – and this is the perfect summer read!
Some Other Great Middle Grade Books About Weird Adventures and Towns
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About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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