Title: Lucas Lightfoot And The Fire Crystal
Authors: Hugo Haselhuhn and Luke Cowdell
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing https://www.morgan-james-publishing.com/
Genre: Youth Fiction
Year Published: 2016
Number of Pages: 135
Reviewed by Trudy Thompson for the Association for Mormon Letters
Several years ago, when my now eleven year old grandson was still a preschooler, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He was reluctant to tell me, saying I would think it was silly. I promised him I would not think that, nor would I tell anyone else. As he leaned in a little closer to me, he quietly whispered, “I want to be a super-hero.” We had a little conversation about some of the ways a person can be a hero to others. Since our grandson was, and is, a serious minded first-born, I had no doubt he would excel in life, no matter what he chose to do. For these reasons, when I learned about the Lucas Lightfoot books, I jumped at the chance to read them. I am so very glad I did!
Lucas Lightfoot And The Fire Crystal is the story of ten year old Lucas finding a rare and very special chameleon. When the rightful owner is located, she insists that Lucas keep the lizard, and even gives him several books about chameleons. While reading one of these books, Lucas discovers a small disc taped inside the book. He is surprised to see the disc has the same symbols on it that are on the collar the chameleon is wearing.
Thus begins the magic-the magic of the chameleon named Prescott who has come into Lucas’s life in order to teach, instruct, encourage and warn him. The two are able to communicate simply by thinking what they want to say to each other. Lucas learns that he has been chosen to receive special powers – powers that he can access with the help of the disc, and a ring that he is sent to find.
These special powers include the power to stop time, the power to be invisible, and finally, the power to move things with his mind. Lucas is told that the other symbols shown on the disc and the lizard’s collar would be revealed to him as he successfully meets the challenges ahead of him, and that first and foremost, it is virtue that unlocks power.
Prescott also warns him that these powers can only be used for good and unselfish reasons, and that if he tries to use it to control others or for selfish reasons, they will not work, or may work in unexpected ways, so he needs to be careful.
Learning to control his new powers with his head and his heart, Lucas discovers that the greatest change is within himself. He gradually learns that he has a strength within him that he was unaware of.
He faces his greatest challenge when he has to overcome his greatest fear and save the life of a friend and a stranger at the same time.
This expertly written tale was an absolute delight to read! Boys (and girls) will love the adventures, plots, intrigue and vivid descriptions of the talking chameleon expertly guiding the young boy.
Parents, grandparents, and teachers will appreciate the positive messages of integrity, honesty, and a virtuous heart and mind. Lucas is guided and taught how to help others-such as learning why the class bully acts the way he does, and how to overcome his fear to protect and save others from harm. He is also taught about his family’s heritage, and why he has been chosen for these special powers and privileges.
I found it fascinating that this action-packed book was conceived in the mind of the seven year old grandson of the author. Luke Cowdell had a desire to write a “chapter book.” His mother told him that his Grandpa could help him. But, many of the accomplishments and ideas concerning the hero of the book came from Luke directly. His Grandfather Hugo provided the road, travelers and scenery along the way.
I believe that this heartwarming collaboration between a boy and his grandfather is the main reason this book is such a captivating, engaging and meaningful story. Whether children have this book read to them or they read it themselves, it is a not to be missed story that we can all learn from.
Now, please excuse me while I start the sequel to this wonderful tale!