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Monday, November 3, 2014

Review: Saving Lucas Biggs by Marisa de los Santos & David Teague

Title: Saving Lucas Biggs
Author: Marisa de los Santos & David Teague
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub. Date: April 29, 2014
Genre: Middle Grade
Rec. Age Level: 8-12
Pages: 288
More by this author: Love Walked In, Belong to Me

Goodreads / Buy It

Margaret descends from a family of time travelers, but she, as all of her relatives before her, has sworn never to use her gift, no matter how tempting it may be. When Margaret's father is wrongly convicted of a horrible crime and sentenced to life in prison by a corrupt judge, she feels she has no choice but to break her promise. Her plan? Prevent Judge Lucas Biggs from becoming the corrupt, jaded man that he is today. So, with the help of her best friend, Charlie, and his grandpa Josh, Margaret sets out to rewrite history and change her present.

To be honest, I knew very little about this book before reading. The real reason I decided to read it was the cover. It's striking; I kept finding myself drawn to it. If you look closely at the branches of the trees, you'll see hidden images, like a clock, a pickaxe, a star, and a fountain pen. I had to know what part each item played in Margaret's story.

One of my favorite parts of this novel was the dual perspective. Margaret narrates some chapters, while Josh, her best friend's grandfather, narrates others. The twist is that Josh's chapters take place during his childhood, the time Margaret decides to travel back to. This plot device created a situation in which readers can clearly see the connection between past and present, the choices that inform who you become, and the lasting power of family and friendship. 

In the end, it's Margaret's actions in the present, not her extraordinary powers, that save her father and Judge Biggs. This, perhaps, is the element of Saving Lucas Biggs I most appreciated. Readers will pick up this novel for the time travel and mystery, but they'll walk away with a clever and important message: You have the power to be a hero.  To affect change. To make a difference.  



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