Saving Lucas Biggs
by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague
HarperCollins, 2014. 279 pgs. Fiction
Margaret's father has just been sentenced to death for a murder he didn't commit, and his last words to her before he is taken to prison are a family mantra: There is one Now: the spot where I stand, and one way the road goes: onward, onward. Perhaps her father shared these words because Margaret's family has the ability to travel through time, but have promised themselves and each other that they will never use it. But when Margaret thinks that a trip to the past may save her father's life, she doesn't hesitate to go back to 1938 to try to change the life of the corrupt judge who gave her father the death penalty. What distinguishes this thoughtful, delightful, suspenseful book for middle graders is that it doesn't play out in the usual last minute blast from the past save. As it turns out, Margaret, her best friend Charlie, and Charlie's grandfather Josh find that what was broken in the past may have to be mended in the present. Saving Lucas Biggs is unusual in including good parents and caregivers for the children, unapologetic expressions of religious belief, and a refreshing notion that a peaceful approach to solving problems is infinitely preferable to a violent reaction.