Awards and Recognition:
Gold Medal: 2017 Florida Book Awards
Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Books of the Year 2017
June 2016 My Book Box pick
Soon to be translated into five languages.
What if you could get a do-over—a chance to relive a day in your life over and over again until you got it right? Would you?
After finding a mysterious set of paints in her backpack, twelve-year-old Haleigh Adams paints a picture of her last day at the New Jersey shore. When she wakes up the next morning, Haleigh finds that her wish for an endless summer with her new friend Kevin has come true. At first, she’s thrilled, but Haleigh soon learns that staying in one place—and time—comes with a price.
And when Haleigh realizes her parents have been keeping a secret, she is faced with a choice: do nothing and miss out on the good things that come with growing up or find the secret of the time loop she’s trapped in and face the inevitable realities of moving on.
As she and Kevin set out to find the source of the magic paints, Haleigh worries it might be too late. Will she be able to restart time? Or will it be the biggest mistake of her life?
“…the first-person narrative is engaging. The practical problems Haleigh encounters keep the story grounded in reality, despite the central element of fantasy. In addition, a philosophical quandary that worries her offers opportunities for reflection and discussion. — Booklist
“Readers will feel for Haleigh as she sees her situation from the viewpoint of everyone affected. The mystery of the magic paints pleasantly resolves itself. The writing is realistic and easygoing. The character development rings true as Haleigh slowly discovers that she can handle whatever life brings. VERDICT This will appeal to reluctant readers and those looking for a fun summer read with a twist. A heartfelt novel loaded with wonderful character development.” – School Library Journal
“The book is at its best when it acknowledges its real subject, as when the grandmother reflects on mortality or in a lovely scene near the end in which Haleigh, in tears, calmly waits ‘for the future to happen.’ A light book that deftly plumbs some pretty dark depths.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Dorian Cirrone is master of the middle grade mystery. You will not be able to stop turning pages until you come to the satisfying conclusion of this compelling, funny, and heartfelt novel.”– Donna Gephart, award-winning author of Death by Toilet Paper and Lily and Dunkin
“I just loved Dorian Cirrone’s The First Last Day. It made my brain buzz with time warp complications and my heart warm with lessons learned about family, friendship, and growing up.”– Nora Raleigh Baskin, award-winning author of Anything But Typical and Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story
G-Mags turned the rock over in her palm. “Isn’t it lovely the way nature provides us this way of remembering what came before us?”
“What do you mean?”
“Fossils are nature’s way of revealing our history. An imprint of a tiny fish like this one on your rock is a way of telling us that there was life before us, and it will continue long after we’re gone. It’s as if the fish is crying out, ‘Remember me.’ ”
She pressed the rock back into my palm. “Nature is quite the artist isn’t she?” —The First Last Day