The Last Last-Day-of-Summer, by Lamar Giles, for Timeslip Tuesday

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer, by Lamar Giles, is a fun  time-tangle of an adventure, that will delight kids who like their fantasy wild and whacky!

Cousins Otto and Sheed are legends in their most unusual county, a where reality is somewhat askew.  They've made a reputation for themselves saving their town from paranormal dangers, earning them two Keys to the City for their services.  Otto's the deductive reasoner of the pair, taking careful notes.  Sheed brings energy and determination to the mix.  The strengths of both boys are needed when, on the last day of summer, the mysterious Mr. Flux arrives, plunging them into a new adventure.

Mr. Flux has a  camera that freezes anyone he takes a photo of, and soon he's frozen the whole town, and time itself has stopped.  The boys are the only un-frozen folks left, so it's up to them to save the day!    The town is full of different time personages  (such as Bed Time, Business Time,  Crunch Time, AM and PM, and the mysterious Witching Hour), all at loose ends without the passage of time, and Mr. Flux is gathering them in, to use as an army to stop to boys' efforts to start time again..

A traveler from the future tilts the balance in boys' favor.  He's not able to tackle Mr. Flux directly, but who does help them figure out why he's appeared in their town, and how to foil him (this involves some detective work in to the town's past, and a bit of time travel back to the point where things first went awry).  And at last, with the help of two girls who are Sheed and Otto's rivals in saving the day, time starts up again....

There's more to the plot than this, of course (for instance, as shown on the cover, there's a robot).  The reader is plunged into adventure right at the beginning, chaos and uncertainty resulting, followed by a calmer stretch in which answers emerge, alongside some reflection by both the characters and story on friendship, jealousy, lost opportunities, and loyalty, followed by another burst of mayhem.  That middle bit is like the string of a balloon, letting the reader connect to, and enjoy, the fanciful elements.   But throughout the book, the relationship between the two boys, who are great foils for each other and whose characters unfold very nicely during the course of the book, also adds relatable realism to the unreal adventure. 

This is Lamar Giles' first middle grade book, and it's a great one for younger middle grade readers (8-10 year olds) who like books that move like a fast dance from one sparkling thought to the next.  Sheed and Otto's adventure is a truly memorable one, with zaniness mixed with enough heart to hold it together.  

And with that I will stop mixing metaphors and thank the publisher for sending me a review copy!


  1. Okay this sounds like a winner for summer time stories. Awesome review and metaphors!

  2. I really need to get this book. It sounds terrific. Thanks for a great review.

  3. This sounds wonderful! I've read I think two or three of Lamar Giles's YA novels and really enjoyed them, so it's awesome he's branching out into other age ranges.

  4. I enjoyed this one as well, which surprised me - I thought it might be too silly for my taste. But it isn't, and as you note, the Otto and Sheed play off each other so well.


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