Tuesday, April 02, 2019

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer

Giles, Lamar. The Last Last-Day-of-Summer
April 2nd 2019 by Versify
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)
E ARC from Netgalley

Cousins Otto and Sheed (aka The Legendary Alston Boys) live with their grandmother in Logan County, where they have lots of adventures involving dealing with the odd bits of magic found in their area. They have even won the key to the city twice, even though they have a rival in the Ellison twins for solving problems. On the last day of summer, they are ready to have another adventure, and Otto is making notes about the best prospects. When they are given a camera and have an odd encounter with a man named Mr. Flux and another man, the boys find that time in their town has been frozen, and they start to meet a variety of odd characters who all are involved with time. There are the stylists AM and PM, Missus Nedraw and her mirrors, creatures like the Time Suck, and a variety of Clock Watchers and Second Guessers. The boys manage to unfreeze a few people and get help from Petey, who works at the hardware store and has created a lot of inventions. He is also the key to Mr. Flux and the problems affecting the town, because of a Missed Opportunity. When a man named Time Star shows up, he helps the boys discover secrets about Petey's past, but also about their own future.
Strengths: Sheed and Otto are great characters, and readers will appreciate their, attempts at seizing the last day of summer and trying to have adventures. Of course, they get more than they bargained for! I love that Sheed is just a little reluctant and would rather sleep! Petey's story is interesting, and the idea of Missed Opportunities is an intriguing one. Time Star's real identity is a surprise to everyone. There are some illustrations to entice reluctant readers. It is getting easier to find fantasy books with people of color, so it's good to see that we are getting a lot more choices than were available before the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement of 2014.
Weaknesses: The Ellison twins could have put in more appearances, and there is a teaser about the future that isn't fully developed.
What I really think: This was a bit on the young side for my readers, who love this author's Fake ID. They would probably be disappointed that this is not another murder mystery, but I can see this being popular with elementary school students. I'm interested to see what else Versify will be publishing.

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