The Last Mirror on the Left

HMH/Versify. (A Legendary Alston Boys Adventure). Oct. 2020. 272p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780358129417.
Gr 3-5–The Legendary Alston Boys of Logan County are back! This time their adventure will take them far from the Fry they know, as they test their wits in the Warped World and beyond. When Missus Nedraw, Warden of the The Rorrim Mirror Emporium, calls on the deductive duo to recapture an escapee from the Multiverse Justice System, Otto and Sheed must travel into a parallel dimension where all they know is turned on its head. But finding their target is only half the battle; the cousins must then use all their skills to determine who is truly the villain in their story. Giles’s The Last Last-Day-of-Summer sequel is a complex and exciting fantasy adventure that encourages readers to question what they know about incarceration, justice, laws, and the people who enforce them. While at first Otto and Sheed follow Missus Nedraw’s orders, their interactions with the “villains” they’re chasing make them realize that they might not have all the necessary information. Otto and Sheed are introspective and clever young Black boys who love, trust, and challenge each other. The town of Fry is filled with marvelous secondary characters who add depth and heart to the story; especially the boys’ grandma, who always takes care of her grandkids—even if they are from a strange parallel dimension. Chapters alternate perspective between the two boys, with Otto’s views often shared as bullet-pointed entries in his journal. This format helps readers keep track of the ins and outs of the case, and allows the protagonists to reevaluate their assumptions as more information comes to light.
VERDICT Thrilling and heartfelt, this is an absolute first purchase.

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