This Last Adventure by Ryan Dalton

This Last Adventure by Ryan Dalton

Publisher: Carolrhoda Books

Publication date: February 1, 2022

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher's description:

Archie's grandpa has always been his hero. But after Grandpa is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, the confident and adventurous man Archie's known all his life starts disappearing. He's not just losing his memory. He's losing pieces of himself.

Archie desperately wants to slow the progression of Grandpa's memory loss. Using Grandpa's old journal entries as inspiration, he creates shared role-playing fantasies with epic quests for them to tackle together–helping Grandpa to live in the present while staying in touch with his fading memories.

But there's a limit to the power of the fantasies. And not all the memories recorded in the journal entries are happy. When Archie learns a painful secret about Grandpa's past, he questions everything he thought he knew about his hero.

As Grandpa's condition worsens, Archie has to come to terms with the reality of what he's losing and decide what it truly means to live a life worth remembering.

THIS LAST ADVENTURE has been described as Big Fish meets Tuesdays with Morrie for kids.

My review:

I received a free copy of the ebook from the author. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

What a wonderful story! I truly hope this book gets more notice. I am sure my love of this book is in no small part because I could relate to so much of it. My grandfather also had Alzheimer’s and he and my grandmother lived with us for most of my middle school and high school years. He and I had been very close when I was younger and it was terrible seeing him slip away more and more with each passing day. This book handles many of the scarier parts of Alzheimer’s in a very age-appropriate manner.

The story felt very real, including his interactions with his school friends and project partners. Archie is a great kid and definitely matures over the course of the story. Archie tries to help his grandfather keep his memories through these grand adventures he conjures up. These fantasy sections add an element that will appeal to the middle-grade reader, while still allowing the book overall to impart a powerful message about family, friendships, and change.

I really loved this book… definitely one of my favorite reads of 2021. All the characters are well developed and authentic. It is ultimately a feel-good story even with the family pain so elegantly portrayed. It’s rare I feel as excited about a book as I do this one… I will be shouting its praises from the virtual rooftops in an effort to get more people to read it! I recommend it to any fans of middle-grade fiction and anyone of any age who has now or ever had a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

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