Hey y’all! I was actually sent a review copy of The Last Mirror on the Left but after hearing the synopsis for the first book in the series, I decided to buy a copy of The Last Last Day of Summer from Cultured Books (a Black woman owned bookstore). All thoughts are my own, as goes with every one of my reviews.
I’m sure you’ve all been on the edge of your seats waiting for my full thoughts on this series ever since my interview with Lamar Giles. Oh, wait, you weren’t? Well, stick around anyway to see if this might be the story you’re looking to add as an upcoming stocking stuffer.
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.
Trigger warnings: mention of death, bullying
Representation: Black main characters, grandparent with chronic illnesses
The sheer amount of Black boy joy in The Last Last Day of Summer is just *chef’s kiss*. This story gave me some Craig of the Creek meets Code Name Kids Next Door meets Spy Kids meets other children’s action and adventure stories with out of this world elements. It’s just so cool.
I really enjoyed how every character had a distinct personality. Even the side characters had something of their own going on. I’m really excited to see what else sprouts from this world in The Last Mirror on the Left.
I think Lamar Giles has done a really great job of setting up this world and making the story fully immersive. I gave this book to my ten-year-old cousin and now I’m patiently waiting on her thoughts.
The Not so Good
There were some predictable parts but this is a middle grade novel so that’s to be expected. Even as a middle grade novel there were still chunks that surprised me. Just make sure to go into this understanding the intended audience and don’t try to put it into a box that it’s not. Trust me, this is a very out of the box kind of story.
All in All
This was such a fun adventure! I’ve read middle grade before but I can’t remember the last time I read sci-fi in this age group and I definitely can’t remember a time when Black kids were on the cover of that. This is such a great story for your middle grade readers and book devourers.