The Last Last-Day-Of-Summer (A Legendary Alston Boys Adventure #1)

by Lamar Giles (Author) Dapo Adeola (Illustrator)

The Hardy Boys meets The Phantom Tollbooth, in the new century! 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.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
With total mastery, Giles creates in Logan County an exuberant vortex of weirdness, where the commonplace sits cheek by jowl with the utterly fantastic, and populates it with memorable characters who more than live up to their setting....[I]maginative, thrill-seeking readers, this is a series to look out for.


Starred Review
[A] zany, clever adventure filled with surreal humor.... Anchored by its genuine characters and buoyed by its true fun, this is an adventure with staying power.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

In his inventive middle grade debut, Giles (Overturned) riotously scrambles time, moving it backward, forward--and not at all. In the Virginia county that's home to genial African-American cousins and renowned sleuths Otto and Sheed Alston (whose sleuthing skills are rivaled only by crafty twin sisters), curious goings-on are commonplace, but on the last day of summer vacation, things "get stranger than usual"--by a lot. When Flux, a man with limbs that can stretch "like he was made of taffy," suddenly appears and instructs the boys to take a photo of their town with his vintage camera, residents become frozen in place and time. TimeStar, a futuristic superhero, then emerges from a portal in the sky and lunges at Flux, launching a madcap struggle between good and evil and the cousins' quest to unfreeze time. Villainous Flux commandeers Norton Juster-style "agents of time" the Clock Watchers--cleverly depicted personifications that include patriarch Father Time, indecisive Second Guessers, and the Time Sucks, fuzzy platypuslike beasts. Laced with humor, the fantastical time war plays out at a dizzying pace as Giles interjects affecting realism with themes of reconciliation, family, identity, and destiny. Ages 10-12. Agent: Jamie Weiss Chilton, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Apr.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Giles gives his middle school-aged African-American protagonists unique style and admirable substance....While the pair manages to fix time in this adventure, an underlying distress suggests readers may enjoy greater depth in upcoming visits to an already cleverly fantastical and fantastically clever universe." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"The Last Last-Day-of-Summer reminds me that all children deserve to exist in magical spaces where their imaginations and familial bonds will them into heroism. Every single child should have the freedom to be one of The Legendary Alstons. And I, for one, am grateful to Giles, and this brilliant story, for that reminder. " —Jason Reynolds, author of Newbery Honoree Long Way Down

"The legendary heroes of this legendary book are already legendary when the story begins! From there things can only get legendary-er!" —Tom Angleberger, author of the Origami Yoda series

"Lamar Giles has written an instant classic—readers won't want their time with the Legendary Alston Boys of Logan County to end." —Gwenda Bond, author of the Lois Lane series
Lamar Giles
Lamar Giles is an Edgar Award-nominated author and has published three young adult novels. He is the cofounder of #WeNeedDiverse books and has edited two #WNDB anthologies, including 2018's Fresh Ink. He lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia., Twitter: @LRGiles, Instagram: @LamarGiles
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
April 20, 2019
A Legendary Alston Boys Adventure

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