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The Last Best Days of Summer
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The Last Best Days of Summer

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  96 ratings  ·  37 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, Gr ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published April 22nd 2010)
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Leigh Anne Eck
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.
Carol Royce Owen
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
Erika Rohlfes
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
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
Hobbs writes wonderful books about life. This is the second one I have read of hers and loved it.
Becca Lee
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
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.

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
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
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
Malia C.
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.
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
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
Aug 16, 2010 Lisa rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
Mr. Steve
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A fantastic summer read. Reminded me so much of Rules by Cynthia Lord.
Sherrie Petersen
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
Karen Arendt
Another touching story about dealing with grandparents with Alzheimer's, but also about a girl trying to fit into a new school year with a best friend that wants to be popular.
This book kept my interest. I will recommend it to my students when it is brought to my attention. However, it won't stand out on it's own.
Susan McGilvray
I've been waiting to get my hands on this book for months and I was disappointed. The characters (except the Grandmother) felt flat to me.
Good book that dealt with a girl's grandmother starting to have dementia and a boy her age who is handicapped. I enjoyed it.
This book is actually more like 3.5 stars. It was a great book, for the most part happy and light hearted.
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Riley Hoffart 1 2 Dec 07, 2011 03:38PM  
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
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