The Last Best Days of Summer [NOOK Book]

Overview


For twelve-year-old Lucy Crandall, the last week of August is the most perfect time in the world. It’s the week she gets to spend with Grams at the lake house, canoeing, baking cookies, and glazing pots in Grams’s potting shed. Grams has a way of making Lucy feel centered, like one of the pots on her kick wheel—perfect, steady, and completely at peace. But this summer, Grams doesn’t seem to be exactly the person she once was. And as the week turns into a roller coaster of surprises—some good, some awful—Lucy ...
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The Last Best Days of Summer

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Overview


For twelve-year-old Lucy Crandall, the last week of August is the most perfect time in the world. It’s the week she gets to spend with Grams at the lake house, canoeing, baking cookies, and glazing pots in Grams’s potting shed. Grams has a way of making Lucy feel centered, like one of the pots on her kick wheel—perfect, steady, and completely at peace. But this summer, Grams doesn’t seem to be exactly the person she once was. And as the week turns into a roller coaster of surprises—some good, some awful—Lucy can’t help but wonder: Will things ever be centered again?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Like the final stretch of freedom before school begins, there's something quietly magical--and bittersweet--about Hobbs's (Anything but Ordinary) latest novel. Hidden beneath the ordinary anxieties of a 12-year-old starting middle school (Will she be popular? Will her clothes be the right style?), lies a tearjerker that is both insightful and penetrating. When Lucy embarks on her annual trip to her grandmother's lake cabin, she couldn't be more excited to escape her overprotective parents and do all her favorite things (bake cookies, go on canoe adventures). But nothing goes as planned. Eddie, a neighborhood kid, shows up unexpectedly and ruins Lucy's precious alone time with her grandmother, who isn't acting like herself. The portrayals of serious illnesses (Alzheimer's, Down syndrome) are handled with a delicate touch, and Lucy's inner conflicts will readily hit home with readers. Despite her condition, Grams's advice to Lucy is priceless: "Centering? It's that place you go to when you want to know what to do, the best and right thing. It will always be there inside you when you need it." Ages 10–14. (May)
From the Publisher
“Lucy’s story will encourage young readers to find courage for adventure.” The Topeka Capital-Journal

* “Like the final stretch of freedom before school begins, there’s something quietly magical—and bittersweet—about Hobbs’s latest novel. Hidden beneath the ordinary anxieties of a 12-year-old starting middle school (Will she be popular? Will her clothes be the right style?) lies a tearjerker that is both insightful and penetrating.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This is a touching book that makes the reader think about problems outside of themselves.” Library Media Connection

* “The story’s finely tuned realism is refreshing, particularly in Lucy’s yearning for social acceptance and in the fully drawn and wholly memorable characters.” Booklist, starred review

“Engaging and thoughtful.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This thoughtful coming-of-age novel tells the story of Lucy and her summer before entering junior high. . . . There is also a satisfying open-endedness that leaves readers with a sense of hope, despite the knowledge that challenges still exist.”School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Lynn O'Connell
Growing up and growing older are key themes that twelve-year-old Lucy Crandall deals with during her last summer before starting junior high school. The book begins just before it is time for Lucy to go spend a week with her grandmother. Lucy is thrilled as always to spend this time with her grandmother. Lucy is also relieved that she will escape those fears and pressures she has about starting junior high school—especially, choosing the right friends and being popular. Lucy is specifically worried that Eddie, a neighbor with Down syndrome, will tell her classmates at school that he is her "friend." Lucy is sure this would mean that she would be the most unpopular girl in school, since it is important to have the "right" friends. When Lucy arrives at the lake, she does not get the relaxation he had hoped. There, she finally recognizes that her grandmother's health is failing and she is suffering from Alzheimer's. Author Hobbs presents a very realistic tale, and both Lucy's thoughts to herself as she learns to make her own choices, as well as her conversations with her grandmother are touching. Young female readers will find this a great book to read over vacation or break, and many will relate to Lucy and her new-found choices and discoveries. Reviewer: Lynn O'Connell
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—This thoughtful coming-of-age novel tells the story of Lucy and her summer before entering junior high. As a self-described wimp, she is highly influenced by her friend Megan, and the two have spent the summer obsessing over ways to ensure their popularity in seventh grade. One tip is to stay away from dummies, aimed toward Eddie, a boy with Down syndrome whom Lucy has been playing with as a summer job. When Lucy goes to spend the final days of vacation with her grandmother, a potter, and Eddie shows up two days later, she experiences subtle lessons that make her realize that there is more to life than what others think of you. Memorable aspects of the book are Lucy's honest voice and the natural dialogue between characters. Lucy's insecurities and inability to stand up for what she knows is right, particularly when it comes to Eddie, make her a compelling character. Hobbs has achieved a perfect balance; she is on the verge of being a teenager, but also wants to cling to the simplicity of childhood. This is most evident in her relationship with her grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer's. In this simple, yet sophisticated story, most of the conflicts are resolved rather quickly, if not a bit too neatly. However, the results of these conflicts are more important and resonate throughout the story. There is also a satisfying open-endedness that leaves readers with a sense of hope, despite the knowledge that challenges still exist.—Kerry Roeder, The Brearley School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
Lucy's last-week-of-August visits to her grandmother Luz, a potter, at the lake have long been a highlight of her summers. Before going this year, though, she has spent her days with Megan, who's obsessed with achieving middle-school popularity in the fall, and Eddie, a special-needs boy whom she has been tutoring and who will not be an asset in the popularity hunt. When she arrives at the lake, she sees that her grandmother is becoming forgetful and showing other signs of aging; this is when 12-year-old Lucy asks to be called Luz herself, and she begins to understand that independence and leaving childhood behind carry responsibilities. In a credibility-stretching plot twist, Eddie miraculously manages to make his way to the lake cottage to join her. By observing her grandmother's way of coping with Eddie and her acceptance and enjoyment of his engaging personality, Lucy sees ways to manage her many upcoming changes. Like the pottery wheel's demands for centering, the events will require Lucy to find her own center. Engaging and thoughtful, if a trifle overdetermined. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429944243
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/27/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 448,821
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • File size: 165 KB

Meet the Author


Valerie Hobbs is the recipient of the 1999 PEN/Norma Klein Award, a biennial prize that recognizes "an emerging voice of literary merit among American writers of children's fiction." She is the author of young adult and middle-grade novels including Sheep, Defiance, and Anything but Ordinary. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she has taught academic writing. Valerie lives in Santa Barbara, California, with her husband.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Molly

    Walked threw the forest kicking at stones and stuff.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    Sam

    He listens curiosly"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    Katie

    She walks back to cabin

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    I wanna read this!

    I had mcas and one of the reading selections was a chapter from this book. I read it and now i wanna read the whole thing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 6 Customer Reviews

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