Last Week

Last Week

Written by: Richardson, Bill
Illustrated by: Leduc, Emilie
ages 9 to 12 / grades 4 to 7

A child cherishes every second of their grandmother's last week of life in this sensitive portrayal of medical assistance in dying (MAiD).

“In this last week, there are seven days.” That's one hundred and sixty-eight hours. Or ten thousand and eighty minutes. Or six hundred four thousand and eight hundred seconds. A child counts every second because this is their grandmother’s last week of life. 

As friends and family come to call on Flippa—as Gran is fondly known—the child observes the strange mix of grief, humor, awkwardness, anger and nostalgia that attends these farewell visits. Especially precious are the times they have alone, just the two of them. Flippa, the child sees, has made up her mind. Like time, she is unstoppable. So as Sunday approaches, the child must find a way to come to terms with Flippa’s decision. What is the best way to say goodbye?

Beautifully illustrated in black and white—with one unexpectedly joyful splash of color—Last Week is a nuanced look at what death with dignity can mean to a whole family, with an afterword and additional resources by MAiD expert Dr. Stefanie Green.


Key Text Features

illustrations

afterword

explanation

resources


Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.3
Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

A child cherishes every second of their grandmother's last week of life in this sensitive portrayal of medical assistance in dying (MAiD).

“In this last week, there are seven days.” That's one hundred and sixty-eight hours. Or ten thousand and eighty minutes. Or six hundred four thousand and eight hundred seconds. A child counts every second because this is their grandmother’s last week of life. 

As friends and family come to call on Flippa—as Gran is fondly known—the child observes the strange mix of grief, humor, awkwardness, anger and nostalgia that attends these farewell visits. Especially precious are the times they have alone, just the two of them. Flippa, the child sees, has made up her mind. Like time, she is unstoppable. So as Sunday approaches, the child must find a way to come to terms with Flippa’s decision. What is the best way to say goodbye?

Beautifully illustrated in black and white—with one unexpectedly joyful splash of color—Last Week is a nuanced look at what death with dignity can mean to a whole family, with an afterword and additional resources by MAiD expert Dr. Stefanie Green.


Key Text Features

illustrations

afterword

explanation

resources


Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.3
Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Apr 1, 2022
Specifications 64 pages | 5.25 in x 8.25 in
Written By

BILL RICHARDSON, winner of Canada’s Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, and former radio host, has written several highly acclaimed books for children. They include The Aunts Come Marching, illustrated by Cynthia Nugent, winner of the Time to Read Award; After Hamelin, winner of the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Award; and The Alphabet Thief, illustrated by Roxanna Bikadoroff, named among New York Library's Best Books for Kids. Bill lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Illustrated by

EMILIE LEDUC graduated in graphic design from the Université du Québec à Montreal in 2010. She studied animation at the Cégep du Vieux Montréal. She has worked as a graphic designer, animator and illustrator for various television series. In 2010, Emilie received the Michèle Lemieux Award for Illustration. All Year Round was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Illustration in 2012.

Emilie lives and works in Montreal.

Audience ages 9 to 12 / grades 4 to 7
Key Text Features

illustrations; afterword; explanation; resources

Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.3