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Review: Luz Sees the Light

Luz (pronounced “loose”) doesn’t think too much about the environment until her city starts having blackouts and her mom doesn’t want to drive because gas is so expensive. Now Luz can’t get to the mall to buy the shoes she really wants. But Luz isn’t going to sit idly by; she’s got a plan to transform her town and hopefully the world!

Luz Sees the Light
by Claudia Dávila
Ages 8-12; Grades 3-6
Kids Can Press, August 2011, ISBN 978-1-55453-581-1
96 pages, $16.95

Dávila’s first book in her new series, “The Future According to Luz,” is perky, though sometimes too much so. Luz and her friends are always over-the-top in their reactions–dashing around, flinging their hands in the air, cowering in fear, shouting dramatically. The overwhelming emotions start to seem fake after a while, which undercuts the effectiveness of this otherwise engaging story. Luz is a little shallow but obviously means well, especially once she understands the seriousness of a situation. Her friends and neighbors are a realistic mix of people, the type found in any small town, suburb, or city neighborhood. This generic setting means that kids from a wide range of background will be able to identify with Luz Sees the Light.

The message of taking care of the earth is a timely one and Dávila delivers it well. She offers enough scary details to show that the situation is serious, and she shows both the environmental impact and the economic impact that wasting resources has on people and towns. But she also offers hope in the form of solutions that can be easily done by readers: using less, recycling, buying local, cleaning up your town, composting, gardening, etc. Kids Can Press continues the environmental lesson by printing Dávila’s brown and black and cream colored art on paper that was gathered from responsible sources as certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The soft, matte finish shows off Dávila’s cartoony art, which is both funny and detailed. Though not a must-have, Dávila’s story is a decent choice for kids interested in or studying care of the environment.

This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Kids Can Press.

Snow Wildsmith About Snow Wildsmith

Snow Wildsmith is a writer and former teen librarian. She has served on several committees for the American Library Association/Young Adult Library Services Association, including the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She reviews graphic novels for Booklist, ICv2's Guide, No Flying No Tights, and Good Comics for Kids and also writes booktalks and creates recommended reading lists for Ebsco's NoveList database. Currently she is working on her first books, a nonfiction series for teens.

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