The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, Episode 217: Lamar Giles
Welcome back! This week, we’re chatting with author Lamar Giles about his newest book, The Last Last Day of Summer, and the brand-new Versify imprint it’s helping launch. Versify is the brainchild of Kwame Alexander, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is giving him an open door to personally acquire and publish authors and stories that “celebrate the lives and reflect the possibilities of all children.”
In many ways, the launch titles themselves reflect the diversity that drives the imprint’s mission. Versify launched this spring with two picture books, a middle-grade book, and a YA novel.
And it’s that middle-grade book that we’re talking about today. Lamar Giles has written several YA books (Fake ID, Overturned, Spin), and The Last Last Day of Summer is his first go at middle-grade fiction. And he knocks it out of the park.
On this episode, we chat about The Last Last Day of Summer (and its unique twists), Versify, We Need Diverse Books (he’s a co-founder), Hong Kong, LEGO obsessions, and Grumpy Cat.