The Last Chance for Logan County: Legendary Alston Boys, Book 3

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Last Chance for Logan County: Legendary Alston Boys, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Feisty detectives fight monsters in wacky adventure.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Has an absurd plot but does promote importance of logical thought. Sheed keeps a notebook in which he jots down observations and deductions.

Positive Messages

Greed causes people to behave irrationally. Families should stick together in times of trouble. Good friends shouldn't keep secrets from each other,

Positive Role Models

The main characters are African American boys who solve supernatural mysteries in their home town. Otto and Sheed spend a lot of time bickering, but the cousins are actually devoted to each other. The antagonists seem to be White, but the issue isn't addressed directly.

Diverse Representations

The Alston boys are African American cousins who live in a Southern state. They solve mysteries involving zombies and other monsters.They are devoted to their grandmother, who dispenses wise advice. They are also friends with Black teen sisters Wiki and Leen, and they all work together to save Logan County from an invasion of "Money Zombies."

Violence & Scariness

Logan County is invaded by "Money Zombies," who threaten to put the boys and their fellow townspeople under a spell of mindless greed. The kids end up battling an ancient evil from the horror fiction of H.P. Lovecraft. A teacher's house explodes, but no one's hurt.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Last Chance for Logan County is another wacky sci-fi adventure featuring Otto and Sheed, the Alston Boys. Author Lamar Giles keeps the jokes coming as the town succumbs to zombie-fying gentrification. The kids end up battling an ancient evil from the horror fiction of H.P. Lovecraft. A teacher's house explodes, but no one's hurt. There's no strong language, and only the faintest hint of romance: Leen and Otto seem to be romantically interested in each other. They kiss each other on the cheek.

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What's the story?

As THE LAST CHANCE FOR LOGAN COUNTY opens, cousins Otto and Sheed are watching TV with their grandmother, when sharp-toothed frogs rain down from the sky. Before long, Logan is overrun by "Money Zombies," mindless capitalists with no sense of history. Ancient gods out of the horror fiction of H.P. Lovecraft are about to wake up, unless the Alston Boys, the Ellison Girls, a fast-food cashier, and a goat named Michael Jordan can work together to defeat an unholy spell.

Is it any good?

Clever, fast-moving, and surprising, this third entry in the series shows that it's lost none of its mojo. Humor and horror don't always mix well, but this action-packed sci-fi satire hits all the right notes in poking fun at monster-movie silliness. Otto and Sheed are a great team in The Last Chance for Logan County, ready to battle sharp-toothed frogs, capitalist zombies, and Lovecraftian terrors. For all the goofiness, though, author Lamar Giles provides some heartwarming scenes in which the boys worry about being split up and forced to leave the county, which disturbs them more than the zombies do.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Last Chance for Logan County uses humor to drive the story. How does the book poke fun at fantasy and horror cliches?

  • Sheed's and Otto's parents aren't in town with the boys very much. Do people need flexibility in their work schedules to take care of their children?

  • Why do people get upset when local stores are replaced by corporate chain retailers?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horror and humor

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