Interview with Lamar Giles, Author of The Last Mirror on the Left


A Legendary Alston Boys Adventure: The Last Mirror on the Left
Author: Lamar Giles
Illustrator: Dapo Adeola
Pulication Date: October 20th, 2020 from Versify

Summary: In this new Legendary Alston Boys adventure from Edgar-nominated author Lamar Giles, Otto and Sheed must embark on their most dangerous journey yet, bringing a fugitive to justice in a world that mirrors their own but has its own rules to play by.

Unlike the majority of Logan County’s residents, Missus Nedraw of the Rorrim Mirror Emporium remembers the time freeze from The Last Last-Day-of-Summer, and how Otto and Sheed took her mirrors without permission in order to fix their mess. Usually that’s an unforgivable offense, punishable by a million-year sentence. However, she’s willing to overlook the cousins’ misdeeds if they help her with a problem of her own. One of her worst prisoners has escaped, and only the Legendary Alston Boys of Logan County can help bring the fugitive to justice.

This funny and off-the-wall adventure is perfect for readers of Jonathan Auxier and Lemony Snicket.


“A fantastic second addition to an already-acclaimed series.” – Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“An emotionally resonant and action-packed sequel that manages to be an even greater adventure than its predecessor.“ – Booklist (Starred Review)

“A complex and exciting fantasy adventure that encourages readers to question what they know about incarceration, justice, laws, and the people who enforce them.“ – School Library Journal (Starred Review)

Learn about the first Alston Boy adventure, The Last Last-Day-of-Summer, HERE.

About the Author: Lamar Giles is a well-published author and a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. Lamar has two novels forthcoming in 2020: NOT SO PURE AND SIMPLE his first Contemporary Coming-of-Age Story (HarperTeen/HarperCollins) and THE LAST MIRROR ON THE LEFT (Versify/HMH), the sequel to his 2019 hit THE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER.

Lamar is a two-time Edgar Award finalist in the YA category, for his debut YA thriller FAKE ID (HarperCollins, 2014), and his second YA thriller, ENDANGERED (HarperCollins, 2015). His third and fourth YA thrillers, OVERTURNED (Scholastic, 2017) and SPIN (Scholastic, 2019), as well as his middle-grade debut THE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER received glowing New York Times reviews, and was named to multiple Best Of lists, including Time Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, and Amazon. FAKE ID has been optioned by Sony Pictures.

Lamar is the editor of the We Need Diverse Books YA short story anthology FRESH INK (Random House, 2018), and a contributor to many YA and middle-grade anthologies including THREE SIDES OF A HEART (HarperCollins, 2017), BLACK ENOUGH: STORIES OF BEING YOUNG & BLACK IN AMERICA (HarperCollins / Balzer & Bray, 2019), THE HERO NEXT DOOR (Random House, 2019), HIS HIDEOUS HEART (Flatiron Books, 2019) and SUPER PUZZLETASTIC MYSTERIES (HarperCollins, 2020). He has published several short stories for adults.  You can see tv interviews with Lamar here, and here, and here, and in a truly fun “Fun Facts” short interview, created by HarperCollins.


Unleashing Readers: What have you been most excited about when it comes to the reception of The Last-Last-Day-of-Summer?

Lamar Giles: The most exciting thing was hearing from parents, or sometimes the readers themselves, how much they enjoyed Otto and Sheed and all the other fun characters in Logan County. The reviews and recognition are great, don’t get me wrong, but when the readers are happy, I’m happy.

UR: You have written both YA and MG novels; which do you prefer creating?

LG: No preference, honestly. I’m actually writing YA a book in the mornings, and an MG book in the afternoon right now. I think they allow me to divide up the subject matter I want to discuss, though. I save the most grim stuff for my YA, and reserve my fun & zany for MG. The two age groups allow me to really explore a range of topics and tone. 

UR: As a founding member of We Need Diverse Books, how does it feel to see an idea turn to reality and have such an impact?

LG: It’s amazing to see the work WNDB did was received so well by people all up and down the publishing ladder.  As many people know, the organization was the brainchild of author Ellen Oh, and she invited me along on a journey none of us could’ve imagined. That it’s six years later and the organization is still doing great work beyond what its founding members could’ve ever dreamed (I stepped down from my leadership role back in 2018) is exactly what we wanted and hoped for.

UR: Otto and Sheed went from normal kids to heroes. Did that change them?

LG: I don’t think so. Otto and Sheed understand what they are to Logan County and the town of Fry, and I think they recognize if they let that go to their head, or became some else entirely, they might not be so different from the threats they often face down. Otto and Sheed (and Wiki and Leen, let’s not forget them) are heroes because their mission and attitudes don’t change. They’re here to do what’s right.

UR: If there is one thing you want readers to get from your books, specifically Otto and Sheed’s stories?

LG: I really want readers to recognize that Otto and Sheed don’t back down when they see injustice. That’s something that can make anybody into a hero. Let’s all be like Otto and Sheed.

UR: What’s next in your book world?

LG: Next up, another Logan County adventure. I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say just yet, but trust me–we’re only just getting started! 

Hear more from Lamar by listening to him on on the Literaticast podcast!

Thank you to Lamar Giles for taking part in the interview with us, and we cannot wait to go on another adventure with the Alston Boys!

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