The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles

The “last day of summer” turns into a literal race against time for two intrepid, legendary sleuths.

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles.  Versify (HMH), 2019, 288 pages

Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12

Recommended for: ages 8-14

Octavius (Otto) and his cousin Rasheed (Sheed) are already legends in their hometown of Fry, Virginia: mystery-solvin’, adventure-lovin’, hard bike-ridin’sleuths rivaled only by the Epic Ellison twins.  As another legendary summer comes to an end, the boys set out to enjoy one last epic day of sunshine and adventure.  Then a man in a white suit with a Polaroid camera appears.  He tricks the boys into taking a picture of their home town . . . and stops time.  Definitely weird, but it can’t be random.  As Otto, the logical, deliberate one, observes, “There’s a ton of weirdness in Logan County, but few coincidences.”  Unfortunately there’s a ton of consequences if the duo can’t get time unstuck.  They’re going to need help from an unlikely (and some unworldly) group of allies, including Dusk and Dawn (the Golden Hour twins), a superhero named Time Star and Father Time himself.  Also the Epic Ellisons. 

Things get pretty wild and wacky, but there are some thoughtful pauses as well as sharp character observation.  What is time? is a question that’s plagued philosophers from . . . well, from the beginning of time, with St. Augustine as a notable example.  The Last Last-Day-of-Summer is no philosophical treatise, but it may stir some wondering along with the laughs and the character development.  Kids who want summer to never end may change their minds.

Cautions: None

Overall Rating: 4 (out of 5)

  • Worldview/moral value: 3.75
  • Artistic value: 4.25

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Janie is the VERY senior staff writer for Redeemed Reader, as well as a long-time contributor to WORLD Magazine and an author of nine books for children. The rest of the time she's long-distance smooching on her four grandchildren (not an easy task). She lives with her equally senior husband of almost-fifty years in the Ozarks of Missouri.

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