Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Last Best Days of Summer” as Want to Read:
The Last Best Days of Summer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Last Best Days of Summer

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  125 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
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, Gra ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published April 22nd 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Last Best Days of Summer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Last Best Days of Summer

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Leigh Anne
This is a book about growing up, growing old, and growing different. I have to admit I was a little leery about how the author could bring together a middle school girl who wants to be popular, a grandmother with the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, and a boy with Downs Syndrome. But Hobbs creates a beautiful story connecting the lives of these three characters through a lesson about centering - that place to go to when you want to do the right thing.
Erika Rohlfes
Sep 10, 2015 Erika Rohlfes rated it really liked it
The book “Last Best Days of Summer,” is about Lucy’s summer before middle school. Lucy has this whole summer planned with her best friend, Megan,and her awesome Grandma. This plan backfires when she gets a job to hang out with a “special boy” with a Down syndrome, named Eddie. Eddie is a kind and sweet person to Lucy. Lucy does not see this in him, she is embarrassed to be seen with him. Over the last 2 weeks of school, Lucy always goes to her Grandma’s house. Over the last week of summer Eddie ...more
Marisa Spada
Jun 14, 2016 Marisa Spada rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was AWESOME! It shares the relationship with Lucy and her grandmother and their adventures through out the week. It also tells a little bit about Lucy's middle school struggles.
Jul 29, 2010 Gina rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Hobbs writes wonderful books about life. This is the second one I have read of hers and loved it.
Sydney Hall
Nov 17, 2016 Sydney Hall rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book because it shows the reality of growing up and the changes of life all around us. This story would be great for upper elementary aged girls. The author did a great job connecting the lives of different people, such as her neighbor, Eddie, who has Down’s Syndrome. As 12-year-old Lucy spends the last week of her summer at the lake with her grandmother, she realizes her grandmother is not the person she once was and she actually becomes really concerned about the changes ...more
Selena Ramsingh
Nov 08, 2016 Selena Ramsingh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is total crap. By chapter 4 the whole thing got confusing. It states that Lucy and Megan are going to a party and there is a band playing etc. moments later in chapter 5 they are talking with someone and dancing in the middle. Like i didn't understand im too confused to even finish the book
Michelle Mayfield
Nov 13, 2016 Michelle Mayfield rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It is about a girl getting ready to go to middle school. In the beginning of the book she is trying to figure out how to be popular and by the end of the summer she realizes that popularity is not the most important thing. It was a fun, quick read.
Katie Fitzgerald
All summer long, Lucy Crandall has hung around the pool with her best friend, trying to learn how to be popular, and has been paid to spend time with Eddie, the boy with Down syndrome who lives in her neighborhood. Finally, though, the last week of August is here, and Lucy is ready to make her yearly trip to her grandmother's cabin, the most-anticipated event of the entire summer. This year's visit is different, however, because Grams now requires neighbors to look in on her, and she is beginnin ...more
Becca Lee
Jun 27, 2010 Becca Lee rated it really liked it
I remember all too clearly my summers with my Grandma and how she too was the most important person in my life for the longest time. But as much as I wanted to LOVE this book, I only sort of loved it. While I understand the need to have both Eddie and Gram with disabilities for the story line, it seemed at times like there was one too many issues going on for poor Lucy (she was expected to grow up fast) to deal with. Both characters helped Lucy grow and learn to deal with situations. They are ju ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Jul 31, 2014 Carol Royce Owen rated it really liked it
Having spent the summer helping with a 13 year old Down's syndrome boy, Eddie, who worships her, 12 year old, Lucy is looking forward to spending the last week of summer as she always does - at the lake with her Gram. She's aware that her mother wasn't keen on her going, as her gram has become older and sometimes forgetful, but Lucy is determined to have a wonderful time with her, and to keep an eye in her. She knows she can talk to Gram about anything, and is certain that she will give her the ...more
Jan 25, 2012 Gin rated it liked it

Well-developed and likeable characters drive this third-person narrative of Lucy - a 12 year old girl, Eddie - her 12 year old friend with Down's Syndrome, and Lucy's beloved Grams. The story takes place between Lucy's neighborhood and her grandmother's cabin, where she always spends the last week of her summer vacation. There are elements of gentle suspense to propel the reader - what will happen to Eddie when he decides to go on an adventure by himself and what is wrong with Grams, she seems f
Aug 03, 2010 Ryan rated it liked it
A sweet book about growing up and discovering oneself by realizing you aren't the center of the universe. At 12 there the child/adult conflict begins (internal and external - and 12 isn't a hard fast age, but a good average). You are Old Enough to be treated like you are grown (I certainly was convinced) but not really ready to let go of the perks of being a child.

There was a bit much - both a special needs boy AND a grandmother who is aging. What saved it for me was Lucy's need to hear what he
This book is a pretty good middle-grade realistic fiction book. 12-year-old Lucy is about to enter 7th grade and she's concerned about whether or not she'll be popular. At the end of the summer, she goes to visit her grandmother for a week in her lakeside cabin. Grandma's having a tough time remembering things lately, and this is causing stress for Lucy. On top of all that, Lucy's neighbor, Eddy (who has Down's Syndrome) misses her and somehow manages to get on a Greyhound bus and show up at Gra ...more
Recommended Ages: grades 5-8

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 coaste
Jul 25, 2010 Treasure rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
A nice stand alone book about Lucy struggling to find herself at the age of 12. Will she remain best friends with Megan, who is obsessed with being popular next year in junior high? How will she handle her friendship with Eddie, her neighbor with Down's Syndrome? Is it a friendship? Will her parents, especially her overprotective mom, allow her to grow up at all? And what about her beloved grandmother at the cabin, who always gives her the best week in her summer, who seems to be forgetful and c ...more
Aug 16, 2010 Lisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: juv
The main character, as expected, learns that she really doesn't want to be popular. Her relationship with her grandma and Eddie, the boy with down syndrome, allows her to see that. Both the grandmother's Alzheimer's and Eddie's Down Syndrome seem a little too much for one book. I think readers could have done without the focus on Eddie's point of view in the first half of the book. The main character's relationship with her grandmother was a bit more interesting. This book deserves an average ra ...more
Aug 09, 2010 Kathie rated it really liked it
Well written, but kids aren't going to read this without a lot of "selling" to that special reader. Author of Defiance.Lucy is 12 and has always spent the last week of August in heaven-so to speak. She visits Grams at the cabin in Crescent Lake. However, this year there are a lot of surprises. Grams is slipping. Eddie the Downs boy that she cares for in the summer becomes a friend. he travel on his own to return her bracelet. As for her best friend Megan who is obsessed with being popular, well, ...more
Sep 12, 2010 Becky rated it really liked it
I gave this book four stars because of its particularly sensitive and realistic portrayal of Lucy's relationship with her grandmother, Luz, who is beginning to fall into senility. Lucy's mixed emotions about her relationship with her Down's Syndrome neighbor, Eddie, add another interesting dimension to her life as she's transitioning from a young girl to a teenager. Not a Newbery, but a good story for 4th and 5th grade girls.
Mr. Steve
Jun 15, 2011 Mr. Steve rated it liked it
This book was okay. Reminded me a bit of a poor man's Rules. I liked how it showed a boy with Down Syndrome in good light and it also realistically portrayed the difficulties a tween might have balancing her good heart with normal pangs to be popular - leading up to some difficult choices.

To me, the book dragged in the second half a bit. I did like it; though it seems to me one of those books adults might like better than children.
Erin Sterling
12-year-old Lucy's favorite part of summer is spending a week with her artsy grandma (without her parents to bug her) at a lake cabin. Unfortunately, there are a few hiccups in this year's plans: first, her grandma is more forgetful than usual, and then her neighbor who has Down's Syndrome makes his way to the cabin without his mother's permission. A tender book about growing up, friendship, and Alzheimer's.
Feb 08, 2011 StorySnoops rated it liked it
The Last Best Days of Summer is a discussion-worthy coming of age story about a relatable tween girl who struggles with growing up while her grandmother struggles with growing older. Like many tween girls, Lucy is very concerned about... (click for full review
Sherrie Petersen
Jul 03, 2010 Sherrie Petersen rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Quiet stories don't get enough attention and this one really should. It's a sweet story about growing up, making good choices and deciding who you are and who you want to be. Some people have called it a tear-jerker. I did not cry, but I did enjoy the beautiful language and the very real characters in this delightful book.
I enjoyed this story about twelve-year-old Lucy, who is dealing with her friend who wants to be popular, a neighbor boy with special needs, and a grandmother who is losing her memory. There are a lot of issues in this book, but Lucy's character is well-developed and realistically flawed. She wavers between listening to Megan's rules for being popular and being herself.
A student read and recommended this book to me and I'm very glad that she did. It has some very weighty issues: finding your niche in middle school, what it means to be popular, disability (Down's Syndrome), and a grandparent in the early stages of Alzheimer's.
I will definitely find a spot in my classroom library for this book.
Jun 14, 2010 Penny rated it liked it
Tear jerker, coming of age story. I suppose that life is complex. Lucy has to deal with her feelings about her caregiver role with a young neighbor with Down's Syndrome (annoyance and embarrassment) and the fact that her grandmother shows signs of alzheimer's. The two threads come together and resolve in a fairly predictable way. It is a tear jerker.

Malia C.
Sep 25, 2014 Malia C. rated it liked it
I think that this book was a little confusing. There was not a lot of background on the characters and I felt like the author didn't explain very well. Other than that, the plot was very interesting and I could follow it pretty well. The characters were very realistic and I could relate to them. Because of all of this, I rated this book 3 stars.
Oct 31, 2010 Barb rated it really liked it
This is a sweet and touching story of an adoring granddaughter dealing with her beloved grandmother showing the first signs of dementia as well as the confusion of wanting to be popular but still be kind to a chid with Downs that the other students ignore.
Jun 01, 2012 Chin123 rated it did not like it
stupid book, didn't bother finishing it.
very confusing.

first she talks about megan, next grams, next and island?!?

who'd a hell she think she is?!?

(sorry for using "hell", no offense, sincere apologies)
Oct 02, 2010 Richelle rated it really liked it
I had a real personal connection to this book. It took me by surprise because I'd never heard of it before and wasn't expecting much, but it was very well written, had a quick pace and a nice message. There may have been some tears. Okay, there were tears.
Mar 15, 2011 Katelyn rated it it was amazing
I just LOVE this book. I wish there was a sequel. I do recommend it to EVERYONE, (maybe not boys though)
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Riley Hoffart 1 2 Dec 07, 2011 03:38PM  
  • The Great Good Summer
  • Prairie Evers
  • The Secrets of Blueberries, Brothers, Moose & Me
  • Kepler's Dream
  • The Private Thoughts of Amelia E. Rye
  • As Simple as It Seems
  • The Secret Ingredient (Teashop Girls, #2)
  • Wish
  • A Good Horse (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, #2)
  • Saint Louis Armstrong Beach
  • The Year We Sailed the Sun
  • Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace
  • Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School
  • Odessa Again
  • A Nest for Celeste: A Story About Art, Inspiration, and the Meaning of Home
  • Seriously, Norman!
  • Franny Parker
  • Only One Year
Valerie Hobbs is the author of many award winning novels for young adults including Sonnys War, Tender, and How Far Would You Have Gotten If I Hadnt Called You Back, for which she was designated a Flying Start author by Publishers Weekly in 1996. Hobbs was the winner of the 1999 PEN/Norma Klein award for an emerging voice of literary merit among American writers of childrens fiction and the Arizon ...more
More about Valerie Hobbs...

Share This Book