Luz Sees the Light
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Luz Sees the Light

3.0 of 5 stars 3.00  ·  rating details  ·  87 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Change is in the air. Power outages are increasing, and gas prices are soaring. At first, 12-year-old Luz balks, hardly thrilled by the prospect of actually having to walk to the mall. But Luz doesn't mope for long. After all, her name -- pronounced "loose" -- means "light." Soon, this intelligent and spirited chica begins to understand that she must change with the times....more
Hardcover, 95 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Kids Can Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 129)
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Angela
What I did like: The illustrations are fun. The muted mono-color with sharp black and white lines color scheme lends itself to a story that takes place during blackouts and Luz is a natural consumerist and reluctant environmentalist.

What I didn't like: It's VERY DIDACTIC and does not disguise it's messages about energy consumption, sustainability and other environmental concerns.

That said, when I was young I had this fact-based coloring book on the environment and I loved it. I loved filling in...more
Candis
I read this graphic novel with my daughter (who received it as a xmas present alongside Bone this year), and it was a completely satisfying read. The story is simple, the drawings are great, and the message -- about over-consumption and environmental issues, particularly in already impoverished areas -- was clear enough to get conversation started (and for her to understand it) and strong enough to get the plot moving through to its end. More than twice the narrative and characterization made he...more
Brett
Here's a great way to start a dialog with kids about environmentalism & things they can do to be more Earth-friendly & green - possibly as a unit starter in science class? Luz & her friends live in a place that looks like Anywhere, USA, but the problems facing us with regard to energy are a bit accelerated: power outages are happening with depressing regularity, & it's too expensive even to buy enough gas just to get to the mall. This has Luz really upset, since right now, all sh...more
Amy
Oct 03, 2011 Amy added it
Shelves: 2011, j-comics
Luz doesn't think much about sustainability or green living. She always wants her mom to drive her to the mall (when she could just as easily walk) and she's dying to buy a pair of designer shoes that are imported from Europe. But then blackouts keep plaguing the city, which inspires Luz to find out about how energy use impacts the planet. Her mom explains that relying on too much energy (i.e. oil and coal) depletes the Earth of its natural resources, and that if we're going to make them last, w...more
Raina
When I think about this book, I find myself trying to decide if it's too didactic.

And honestly, I kind of feel like if I have to ask that question, it probably is.

But when I think about what I read as a kid, I realize that I read a lot of didactic literature. And I enjoyed it. I liked reading "message" stuff in the comic medium WAY better than reading narrative nonfiction. Comics was how I consumed lots of information. So I'm not sure this book deserves to die just because it has an agenda. Fo...more
Adriana
http://shesgotbooksonhermind.blogspot...

Luz is having a grand old time making a brownie, singing, and dancing when.... out goes the light. After some initial confusion her mother explains it's a blackout. This is the beginning of Luz's ultimate journey to improve the community and environment.

Throughout the book Luz is getting knowledge from her mom or Gord, the crazy neighbor who is preparing for more blackouts to come, about how everything works. How gas is getting too expensive and why, how f...more
Jen V
I've never seen the word "didactic" used so many times in reviews. Usually I don't add my thoughts or reviews of a book here on GoodReads, but so many people are negative about this book and it makes me sad. Honestly, maybe this book does get preachy and it does have a motive to send a message to kids, but isn't the message being sent an important one? I say bravo to Luz and Claudia Davila! I'm an adult so I would be curious what kids think of this book, but I think there is a nice mix of talkin...more
Meredith
I really, really hate children's stories with social and/or political agendas. It's not that I always disagree with the message they're trying to spread, but I have yet to come across one that doesn't use a tone that's corny, lecturing, and unpleasant to read.

Remember how 80s and 90s cartoon shows often had PSAs at the end of each episode? This entire story read like an epically long and whiny one from captain planet. The plot was completely secondary to the book's pro-environment message, and m...more
Sam Musher
I've always had a book-fetish about communities coming together in disaster. After reading the incredible A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster, I started seeing this pattern everywhere. This is the elementary/middle grade graphic novel version.

It's a given in this near-future that Bad Stuff Is Happening: blackouts are common and gas is too expensive for Luz's family to buy. Luz is grumpy at first about not being able to go to the mall when she wants, bu...more
Julia Miller
This graphic novel follows young Luz as she begins feeling the effects of power shortages and rising gas prices. Frustrated by the complications these have thrown into her life, she seeks out ways to simplify her life and enjoy herself. She is then inspired to try to create a community garden. There are some elements of the story that touch on safety concerns and the way prices can rise on items due to gas prices.

Though the character appears to be Latina, and her neighborhood is mostly made up...more
Nicole
I like Luz' changing perspective in the book - coming from not understanding why it's important to conserve energy and change our behavior to understanding the need and then acting on the need. Told realistically and expresses real problems/obstacles that come up when trying to change long-term habits and behaviors.
Sarah
I really enjoyed this tan, black, and white graphic story. It DOES have a very strong message about the environment, and oversimplifies the ecological issues a bit, but it's appropriate for the grade 3+ audience to do so. Because of the comic format, concepts about the advantage of "buy local", for example, are easier to visualize. The main character, Luz, is a mall-shopping, sneaker-craving girl who doesn't understand why multiple car trips are a problem for her mom's pocketbook and the environ...more
Jacob
Library copy. This book reads quickly and I think my daughters will enjoy it too. It's a tad-bit preachy, at times, about the environment, but I think my youngest will definitely benefit from seeing how soil compost is made through words and pictures. The book has many good messages about taking the initiative within the community and why growing a neighborhood garden is beneficial when weighing the options of imports and exports. Best of all, my daughters will appreciate a female protagonist ta...more
Stefanie
Preachy. And I've never heard a child say their mind was out to lunch. Bummer, I had hopes due to the illustration! Very nice. And I like the name Luz.
Dolores
In the first book in this new series, Luz has a lot to learn. She is used to being taken to the mall whenever she likes and buying whatever she wants at the store. But gas prices and food prices keep going up, and her mother tells her that she will have to learn to adapt. She must learn to buy local and find other ways to get to the mall. Luz gets the idea to create a community space with a garden in an abandoned lot, which brings neighbors together. This is a fun read with plenty of humor and k...more
Rosa
There are rolling black outs in Luz's neighborhood. Gas prices are getting very high and the cost of imports is going up. It takes Luz a while to figure out why these things are important but she finally realizes that she needs to become more self sufficient and use things that are produced locally. The simple color palette on this is kind of genius and the illustration style is fun. A little bit message laden but includes a minor second story line to keep the message slightly more subtle. Also...more
Kate Hastings
Grades 3-6. A graphic novel that introduces carbon footprints in what seems to be a time perhaps 10 years in the future. Oil prices are high--which effects the price of everything. Luz decides to try to grow and eat local produce. The artwork was well executed, but the dialog was a little heavy-handed at times (not that the message is bad-- just that it gets in the way of the flow of the story). This would be a good group read for an energy/ecology unit-- accessible to a larger range of reading...more
Genevieve
Cute art, like the brown/black/white palette, but this is essentially a PSA (or the first in a series of PSAs?) I think younger kids might go for it, but older ones will see right through. And, OK, not everyone lives with someone who works on getting civic projects approved, so maybe I'm extra skeptical, but wow, good job Luz! You turned an empty lot into a park/concert area/garden in a week! Without permits! (I am a horrible person, yes.) I want to strongly suggest this, but am kind of meh. 2nd...more
Michelle (FabBookReviews)
Can a graphic novel aimed for kids successfully include an Eco-conscious message? It might be a hard sell for children and other readers, as the go green message is definitely PRIMARY in this read. (Perhaps this would be a better sell as non-fiction rather than fiction?). However! All in all, it is a positive read, with focus on environmental issues pertinent to today, with fun characters and fun illustrations.

Think: David Suzuki with a blend of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. F...more
Nick
While this is a "message" story, it didn't feel heavy-handed, at least about the social and ecological aspects. A couple of the characters are totally insane, but that's another matter.
Luz sees a number of problems with the world, and she certainly can't solve all of them, but what she can do is get together with her friends and clean up an empty lot down the street, so that it can be used by the neighborhood as a park and garden. The story oversimplifies how this would really work, but it's a c...more
Rachel
This is not your typical fiction graphic novel, the story is limited, and the characters have little development, but they do learn. They learn about the very real state of affairs our earth is in. The problems with pollution, the growing costs of food, electricity shortage, consumerism, limited green space in the urban environment, etc. Most importantly they learn about all the little things they can do to make things better, like making a garden, taking transit, etc.
Rebs
This is for a slightly older reader than my 6-yr old, who simply enjoys graphic novels, but I wanted to get some of the messaging in this book across to her.

It worked. After reading it, she wanted to know where the book was printed. In China, of course. Which led to a discussion about how we buy local when we can, but we cannot control where the books we read are printed, especially when the cost to print overseas is so much cheaper than printing in Canada.
Marc Lucke
I don't understand why this graphic novel has received so many negative reviews: I can only guess that people brought their own (misplaced) expectations to it. Considering the intended age group, this is an excellent way to introduce ideas like ecology, community-building and civic responsibility. The drawings are whimsical and funny, and Luz is a great protagonist. Two thumbs up!
Laura
Pretty cute children's graphic novel about a young girl learning about living sustainably in a city where blackouts are frequent and gas is very expensive. She learns about buying local produce and conserving energy, then starts a community garden/park with some friends.

Good tie-in with our library Read & Feed garden.
Mary Lee
Luz is a spunky chica who learns the hard way that she needs to make better choices for the Earth. Maybe it's not the most inspired story, but how many spunky chica main characters do YOU have in your classroom library??? (Me, neither. Now I have one.)
Mark Victor Young
The 5 stars are from my daughter. I thought it was a little preachy. We loved the characters, the art and the well-intentioned message, however, so it's a recommendation from both of us.
Brenda
Very average and forgettable. If you're specifically looking for something to teach kids about being self-sufficient and preserving the environment and such, this might be good.
Janet
Feb 26, 2012 Janet rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Reading some graphic novels while reading a very long 'grownup' book--this one much too didactic for my taste; despite a very good start it had an extremely weak finish.

Bethe
Bookaday #52. Although this book is a little obvious about the environmental message, it is great to see a Hispanic main character in a graphic novel for elementary school.
Edward Sullivan
A lively story about a girl who decides to "go green" when her city has a blackout and her mom can't afford gas. Unfortunately, the message is a bit too heavy-handed.
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