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Luz Sees the Light

(Luz #1)

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  66 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 time ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Kids Can Press
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Showing 1-30
3.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  192 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Mar 16, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a graphic novel intended, I think, for "young readers". It was on a list of great feminist books for young readers and I read it because I've no idea what is appropriate for "young readers" (or how old one must be to fit in that category) and curious about what "feminist" means.

Luz lives in a kind of dystopian Sesame Street where gas prices are completely out of control, there are blackouts all the time, food prices are crazy but it is relatively safe to hang out on the street during the
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grade
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
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A tale of learning about the importance of conservation and community in an accessible graphic novel format.
Aug 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: green, graphicnovel, j
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
Jen V
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Luz Sees the Light is a rather didactic graphic novel aimed at kids eight to twelve that talks about environmentalism and the need to save and conserve energy and gas.

Luz lives in a city where gas prices soar and power outages are common, so probably somewhere in California. After some complaining, as any semi-oblivious twelve-year-old would do, Luz thinks about what she can do, and decides to start a community garden in a vacant lot near her house. Her friends think she's crazy and her commun
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
So Luz Sees the Light is a bit heavy handed in the green message. But I would highly recommend this work for 4th grade and above, and I surely recommend this work for the teachers on the ISD campus running the green garden, composting, and promoting the community garden behind the ISD Library. I love to see the ISD students pushing their wheel barrows back to the compost bin! I think if students saw themselves in this book, they might be even more "into" their own composting and gardening goals. ...more
Chris Hays
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This book has some incredible artwork. The story is decent, but the plot is caught between over the top obvious and packing too many ideas together in one. I am not sure it will catch too many children.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Good message but heavy-handed.
Nice short read that can get kids interested in the environment with some great characters.
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it

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
Katie Fitzgerald
Like many tweens, Luz is mostly concerned about the comforts of her everyday life - electronics, tasty food, and rides to the mall whenever she needs them. It doesn’t occur to her that wasting electricity, gas, and other resources actually leads to problems until her mom starts buying locally grown food and limiting the amount of energy the family uses. Then Luz decides to turn an abandoned lot into a garden so that she and her neighbors can become more self-reliant and less dependent upon impor ...more
Oct 03, 2011 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
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
Climate change, melting ice caps, water shortages, nonrenewable energy sources, ozone holes, big agriculture businesses: there's a plethora of environmental concerns that we face that can be frightening and overwhelming for kids. Luz Sees the Light approaches the ways environmental concerns impact our lifestyles in and makes it a little less big and scary.

Yes, it is didactic. But why is that a bad thing? We should be learning where our food and energy comes from. We should be conscious consumers
Apr 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: j-graphic-novel
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
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
Apr 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphics, kidlit
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
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Althea J.
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, for-nieces
I borrowed this from the library but I really enjoyed it and think my nieces will LOVE it - so I bought them a copy. This is such a fantastic message wrapped up in a fun story, relatable characters, and adorable art. It is not just laying out the problems of the environment but framing it in an understandable context of the things we choose to buy and the energy we consume. And even more crucial is that the bulk of the story are the actions a girl takes to address the problems she's seeing, maki ...more
Kevin Summers
Feb 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grades
Did other readers note that, even though this book criticizes importing consumer goods, this book was printed in China?
Luz loves electricity and it isn't until there is a powere outage that she literally sees the light. A power outage makes it less fun to do things but when Luz discovers all the cool things that can be done she really gets an idea of self-sufficent really means. I love how later on in the graphic novel that Luz helps to make something that is being wasted become something beautiful for her community. In later episodes of the graphic novel she learns about planting her own garden.

Great for grade
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
May 29, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Oct 04, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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
Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Reduce Reuse Recycle in a graphic novel format. Luz is a hopeless consumer until darkness makes her see the light. When her neighborhood starts experiencing blackouts, things begin to change for Luz. She begins to see the light from her mother's constant preaching about the price of gas and buying local instead. She sees a bright idea of how her neighborhood could become more self sufficient if they all would work together. And she basks in the glow of friendship, as she sees her friends' willin ...more
Aug 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: bigger-kids, grafix
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
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