Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 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
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
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.
About the authors
Bill Richardson is known across the country as the host of Richardson’s Round-up, heard daily on CBC Radio One. A writer, broadcaster and raconteur, Richardson originally wrote about the goings-on of Hector, Virgil, and company for broadcast on CBC Radio’s Gabereau. He has published eight books, including two sequels to Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast: Bachelor Brothers’ Bedside Companion and Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast Pillow Book. Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast, was the winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. A frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines, Richardson makes frequent public appearances reading poetry, narrating musical works, giving keynote speeches, and signing books. He lives in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.
Émilie Leduc graduated with a Bachelor's of Graphic Design at the University of Québec of Montréal (UQAM) in 2010. She received her college diploma in Animation from the Cégep du Vieux Montréal in 2005, and has worked as a computer graphics designer. As an animation artist, her work is featured on several television series, including Life on the block, My Life Me and Punch. Leduc's short animation film Les chats cherchaient les tuques won the award for Best Animated Movie at the Dérapage2009 event. In 2010, Emilie won the Michèle Lemieux scholarship for the quality of her artwork produced during the year 2009-2010.
An elegant dance of image and prose.
Truly compelling and unique.
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
A sensitive look at what death with dignity can mean to a family.
Heartfelt … Black and white illustrations beautifully capture the range of emotions felt by each member of the family. STARRED REVIEW
Quill & Quire
A story of such elegance.
CanLit for LittleCanadians Blog
Assisted death is a subject seldom found in children’s literature, but this book handles the topic gently and sympathetically.
Heartfelt … It certainly is a book about coming to terms with grief, but it is also very much a book about love.
Other titles by Bill Richardson
Lola Flies Alone
I Saw Three Ships
West End Stories
The Promise Basket
The Bunny Band
The Alphabet Thief
The First Little Bastard to Call Me Gramps
Poems of the Late Middle Ages
How to Sweet-Talk a Shark
Strategies and Stories from a Master Negotiator
oddball @ large
Waiting for Gertrude
A Graveyard Gothic