A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Has an absurd plot but does promote importance of logical thought. Sheed keeps a notebook on which he jots down observations and deductions.
Maintaining strong family bonds is important for everyone. Instead of worrying about your legacy, concentrate on helping people now. Be honest with the people who care about you.
Positive Role Models
Otto and Sheed bicker a lot, but they are devoted to each other. Sheed is the more laid-back of the two. The boys are brave, resourceful, and sensitive, and they respect their grandmother and her wisdom. Both are Black and hail from the Southern United States.
The Alston Boys are African American, as are their Grandma and most of their friends. The boys model curiosity, strong family ties, and creative problem solving and use their investigative skills.
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Violence & Scariness
Mostly a lot of threats and throwing people into mirrors. No one ever gets seriously hurt.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The Alston Boys may have crushes on the Wikki twins.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Mirror on the Left is a wacky science fiction adventure by Lamar Giles, in which two African American boy sleuths -- who are cousins -- attempt to solve a multi-dimensional mystery. This is thre second book in he series, following The Last Last Day-of Summer. The boys' grandma is once again a powerful force in the story. The violence is cartoonish: some punching and throwing people through magic mirrors. There's a hint that the boys may have crushes on twin sisters.
Is It Any Good?
Even the most absurd situation benefits from some grounding in reality, and this zany adventure demonstrates the benefits of close family connections. In The Last Mirror on the Left, Otto and Sheed face the possibility of dying, and their reaction to their mortality is both touching and funny. Author Lamar Giles keeps the plot moving at a breakneck pace, with quirky dialogue and unforeseeable twists. This series is a winner, perfect for middle-grade boys who want some surefire hilarity, and many will eagerly snap up the concluding volume.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.