Review of The Last Last-Day-of-Summer

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer
by Lamar Giles; illus. by Dapo Adeola
Intermediate, Middle School    Versify/Houghton    289 pp.    g
4/19    978-1-328-46083-7    $16.99
e-book ed.  978-0-358-04721-6    $9.99

African American cousins Otto and Sheed Alston are local legends in their small Virginia town, often featured in the Logan County Gazette for their daring exploits — getting rid of ghosts, disposing of the Laughing Locusts, solving the Mystery of the Woman in Teal, and even taking down the Dastardly Dummy of Denos. But like many kids, they are wishing for just one more day of summer vacation before the school year begins. They get their wish when they accidentally freeze time and find themselves and their town visited by denizens from the “interdimensional community,” including the nefarious Mr. Flux, followed by a man with dark goggles and coiled dreadlocks who drops out of a time portal; monsters called Time Sucks; and all manner of Clock Watchers, who manage time but are out of work now that there’s no time to manage. Otto and Sheed must unstick time and return Logan County to normalcy. In his debut middle-grade novel Giles (a founding member of We Need Diverse Books) presents a page-turning magical fantasy adventure with broad appeal in which his protagonists must use their considerable talents to save not only their town but also themselves.

From the March/April 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Dean Schneider
Dean Schneider teaches seventh and eighth grades at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee.

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