Luz Sees the Light
written by Claudia Davila
Luz is jumping around, watching TV and waiting for her brownie to finish warming up in the microwave. Her fun comes to a sudden end when there’s a blackout. This gets Luz to start thinking.
At first she’s very much in her own world, wanting expensive shoes and goofing around. Things going on in her neighborhood—like the blackouts and her mother’s concern about gas prices—get the girl to start thinking. Her mother also teaches her about how buying locally can help in numerous ways. If they buy local foods, they’ll save money and gas and curb some pollution.
Luz takes this to heart and decides to turn an abandoned lot into a neighborhood park and garden. With the help of her friends, she succeeds in this. The garbage-filled abandoned lot soon has a garden full of vegetables and park equipment so the neighborhood can come together and socialize.
Luz Sees the Light aims to inspire kids to help the environment. And while I don’t think many kids will be able to turn an abandoned lot into a park (if only because they don’t have the resources or zoning), it can teach them about gardening and recycling. At the end of the graphic novel there’s even information on how to make compost. The fact that the main character is a kid is also a good thing. It shows that everyone can take steps to help, even if they’re small steps, and that you don’t have to be an adult to make a difference.
Luz Sees the Light is a serious book, but it isn’t scary. Instead of frightening children into action, like some books, it gives them beneficial ideas that look fun. It also isn’t preachy. As important as helping the environment is, if the writer had taken a preachy tone, it would turn readers off. But thankfully she doesn’t do that, which is to the benefit of everyone involved. I think this is a useful book elementary school teachers could use with their students, especially for an overlapping of English and science work. This book is the start of a graphic novel series called The Future According to Luz.