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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

Last, Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles.

What does a platypus, a bendy man, a camera that freezes time, golden hours, and Mrs. Nedra have in common? They are infiltrating the town of Logan County, Virginia, and our heroes the Alston Boys, Otto, and Sheed are on the case to solve a mystery in their city. Is this the end of summer as the Alton Boys know it? And it certainly can’t end with everyone in town being frozen in time! Otto and Sheed are courageous and up to the task that arrived upon them in an unexpected way. Giles has conceived characters who are experienced adventurers formed through their brave devotion to make right from the strange and inexplicable events in their small town.

The pace of the story moves quickly, and nostalgic of days when children’s intrusiveness of riding bikes and looking for adventures until the streetlights slowly flickered in the breeze of the afternoon air consumes this light-hearted fantasy till the very end. Giles gives readers an imaginative read filed with multiple personalities who are developed, clear, and consistent. This is a classic series in the making.

Annisha Jeffries About Annisha Jeffries

Annisha Jeffries is the head of the youth services department at Cleveland Public Library. She was a member of the 2007 ALSC Board and served on several selection committees, including the 2018 Caldecott Committee. A 2000-2001 Spectrum Scholarship recipient, Jeffries is currently the Chair of the Norman A, Sugarman Children's Biography Award.
She can be reached at


  1. A classic series in the making and, I think, a book that excels at doing what it’s trying to do extremely well. It doesn’t look like the sort of book that usually gets talked about for the Newbery, with high speed robot chases, tentacled mirror monsters, and light-hearted banter rather than grief and death and pain. But I think the argument can be made that when compared to other books written in a similar style, it is distinguished.

  2. My students universally hated this one, so it will probably win, if history is any indicator (there’s actually only been one year where their least favorite book won, but they still talk about it).

    They found the characters hard to connect to, and the plot overstuffed and difficult to follow.

    • Annisha Jeffries Annisha Jeffries says

      Not connecting to characters is real, there’s no denying that Cory. After five pages, if the book hasn’t grabbed my attention, I’m done. I will keep my fingers crossed and hope this will take the top prize, or at least an honor.

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