cover image Luz Sees the Light

Luz Sees the Light

Claudia D%C3%A1vila. Kids Can, $16.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-55453-581-1

Twelve-year-old Luz is a normal girl, craving ice cream and walking her neighbor's cat to save money for a much-desired pair of shoes at the mall, living in an unnamed city in the present day. But rolling blackouts, the high price of gas, and soaring import costs soon impinge on her happy-go-lucky life, and she decides to do something about it with the aid of her best friend Anika, computer nerd Rob, and hippie survivalist Gord. After learning a hard lesson about the costs of her imported shoes, Luz has a change of heart and gets everyone involved in building a neighborhood garden. Although D%C3%A1vila's agenda is very clear%E2%80%94teaching kids about sustainable food and the growing costs of energy%E2%80%94she delivers her message with lively, duo-tone cartooning and a likable cast of characters. An epilogue even shows how to compost. As portrayed, Luz is an unstoppable burst of activity; if there were only a way to harness D%C3%A1vila's drawings of her, all our energy problems would be solved. While a bit more narrative to hold together the lesson might have improved the story, this is still an enjoyable book that should inspire kids to act locally. Ages 8%E2%80%9312. (Aug.)