Saving Lucas Biggs

( 4 )


Perfect for fans of Margaret Peterson Haddix, When You Reach Me, and Savvy, this charming time-travel story from husband-and-wife team Marisa de los Santos and David Teague follows one girl's race to change the past in order to save her father's future.

Thirteen-year-old Margaret knows her father is innocent, but that doesn't stop the cruel Judge Biggs from sentencing him to death. Margaret is determined to save her dad, even if it means using her family's secret—and ...

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Saving Lucas Biggs

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Perfect for fans of Margaret Peterson Haddix, When You Reach Me, and Savvy, this charming time-travel story from husband-and-wife team Marisa de los Santos and David Teague follows one girl's race to change the past in order to save her father's future.

Thirteen-year-old Margaret knows her father is innocent, but that doesn't stop the cruel Judge Biggs from sentencing him to death. Margaret is determined to save her dad, even if it means using her family's secret—and forbidden—ability to time travel. With the help of her best friend, Charlie, and his grandpa Josh, Margaret goes back to a time when Judge Biggs was a young boy and tries to prevent the chain of events that transformed him into a corrupt, jaded man. But with the forces of history working against her, will Margaret be able to change the past? Or will she be pushed back to a present in which her father is still doomed?

Told in alternating voices between Margaret and Josh, this heartwarming story shows that sometimes the forces of good need a little extra help to triumph over the forces of evil.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-02-12
The authors, a husband-and-wife writing team, seamlessly incorporate heavy social-justice issues—fracking for natural gas in 2014 and a coal-mining protest in 1938—into a riveting time-travel adventure story. Margaret, 13, is devastated when her geologist father (recently fired) is falsely accused, convicted and sentenced to death by the vindictive and corrupt judge Lucas Biggs for arson and murder in the first degree. A whistle-blower, John Thomas O'Malley discovered that due to fracking, poisonous chemicals had leaked into the local water supply: Is he a traitor or hero? Two stories set in the company town of Victory, Ariz., told in alternating voices—Margaret's in 2014 and 13-year-old Josh's in 1938—run parallel and then converge. Desperate to save her father and supported by her best friend, Charlie, and his grandpa Joshua, Margaret breaks the sacred family vow and activates the genetic O'Malley "quirk" to travel back in time to try to change events just enough to impact the present. In 1938, a related narrative of injustice is unfolding, one in which Luke Agrippa's pacifist father is leading a nonviolent uprising for decent working conditions after a mine collapse and a company-led massacre. Who is Lucas Biggs, can he be saved, and why does it matter? Strong storytelling, suspense, lyrical writing, high drama, weighty matters made accessible and a bit of humor add up to a terrific and heartwarming read. (Mystery/fantasy. 9-12)
Ingrid Law
“This book is hard to put down! Vivid and memorable, SAVING LUCAS BIGGS casts a captivating spell that will keep you turning pages. A heartfelt yarn of family, friendship, and homespun time–travel magic.”
De los Santos and Teague craft a gentle, quiet sci–fi story where the focus is not on the science…love, nonviolence, and social justice are. Give this one to readers who like stories about family, doing the right thing, and standing up to those who don’t.
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The authors’ graceful use of language and fearless exploration of a more spiritual dimension simultaneously comfort and challenge readers, encouraging deep thoughts. This novel makes a good companion for armchair time travelers and budding philosophers alike.”
School Library Journal
★ 04/01/2014
Gr 5–8—Margaret O'Malley's father is sentenced to death for crimes she knows he did not commit. She watches as he is taken from the courtroom, his voice calling out to her with a verse from a poem. It is a vow that could carry her to a world gone by, but is not to be used. His clever explanation of string-theory physics and her family's "quirk" of being able to relocate, although briefly, into history sends her on a quest to save him from bitter, vindictive Judge Biggs's sentence and from the people who are still trying to silence him. Margaret goes back to 1938 and witnesses the events that caused Lucas Biggs to become the person he is today. The authors weave a tale of justice and family bonds with threads of historical fiction accented with the fantastical physics of time travel. The heroine begins to realize that the very stuff that makes people who they are—that combination of all their life experiences—can sometimes shift the very fabric of history. At least that's what Margaret is hoping, because the only way to save her father is to first save corrupt Lucas Biggs from himself.—Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062274625
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/29/2014
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 161,477
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 930L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Marisa de los Santos

A New York Times bestselling author and award-winning poet with a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing, Marisa de los Santos lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with her family.

Marisa de los Santos has published three New York Times bestselling novels for adults, including Love Walked In and Belong to Me, while David Teague is the author of the picture books Franklin's Big Dreams and Billy Hightower. Saving Lucas Biggs is their first joint venture. Married for over twenty years, Marisa and David live with their two children, Charles and Annabel, and their Yorkies, Finn and Huxley, in Wilmington, Delaware.


Marisa de los Santos grew up in Baltimore and Northern Virginia and attended the University of Virginia. After graduation, she received her M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and a Ph.D. in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She achieved her earliest success as an award-winning poet, and her work has been published in several literary journals. In 2000, her debut collection, From the Bones Out, appeared as part of the James Dickey Contemporary Poetry Series.

De los Santos made her first foray into fiction in 2005 with the surprise bestseller Love Walked In. Optioned almost immediately for the movies, this elegant "literary romance" introduced Cornelia Brown, a diminutive, 30-something Philadelphian with a passion for classic film and an unshakable belief in the triumph of true love. In the much anticipated 2008 sequel, Belong to Me, de los Santos revisited Cornelia, now a married woman, newly relocated to the suburbs, and struggling to forge friendships with the women in her new hometown. Belong to Me was selected for the Barnes & Noble Recommends program.

Good To Know

De los Santos' love affair with books began at a young age. She claims to have risked life and limb as a child by insisting on combining reading with such incompatible activities as skating, turning cartwheels, and descending stairs.

Here are some interesting outtakes from our interview:
"I'm addicted to ballet, completely head-over-heels for it. I did it as a little kid, but took about a thirty year hiatus before starting adult classes. I do it as many times a week as I can, but if I could, I'd do it every day! In my next life, I'm definitely going to be a ballerina."

"I'm terrible with plants, outdoor plants, indoor plants, annuals, perennials. I kill them off in record time. I adore fresh flowers and keep them all over my house all year round because they're beautiful and already dead, but you won't find a single potted plant in my house. So many nice people in the world and in books are growers and gardeners, but the sad truth is that I'll never be one of them."

"I'm an awful sleeper, and the thing that helps me fall asleep or fall back to sleep is reading books from my childhood. Elizabeth Enright's Melendy series and her two Gone Away Lake books, all of the Anne of Green Gables books, Little Women, The Secret Garden, the Narnia books, and a bunch of others. I have probably read some of these books twenty, maybe thirty times. I read them to pieces, literally, and then have to buy new ones."

"I am crazy-scared of sharks and almost never swim in the ocean. Yes, I know it's silly, I know my chances of getting bitten by a shark are about the same as my chances of becoming president of the United States, but I can't help it."

"My favorite way to spend an evening is eating a meal with good friends. The cheese plate, the red wine, the clink of forks, a passel of kids dancing to The Jonas Brothers and laughing their heads off in the next room, food that either I or someone else has cooked with care and love, and warm, lively conversation-give me all this and I'm happy as a clam."

"I adore black and white movies, particularly romantic comedies from the thirties and forties. I love them for the dialogue and for the whip smart, fascinating, fast-talking, funny women."

"I am the only adult person I know who dislikes olives."

"I'm crazy for fresh home-baked bread and butter. I'd take bread over chocolate any day."

"I play no musical instruments, but I sing up a storm in the car."

"In my next life, I will speak five languages. In this life, I speak one. It's sad really."

"My biggest guilty pleasure is InStyle Magazine. My second is chewy candy. Think gummy bears. Think Twizzlers."

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    1. Hometown:
      Wilmington, Delaware
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 12, 1966
    2. Place of Birth:
      Baltimore, Maryland
    1. Education:
      Un. of Virginia, BA in Eng; Sarah Lawrence College, MFA in Poetry; Un. of Houston, Ph.D. in Eng. and Creative Writing
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    You won't put this down until it's finished. Eat first. By MA

    You won't put this down until it's finished. Eat first.
    By MARTYANNE KOWALSKI on May 8, 2014
    Format: Hardcover
    Saving Lucas Biggs is a wonderful read. You won't put this down until it's finished. Eat first. There are lessons on the level of friend, or family, or community. The community faces a company town, as families do what they can to survive, and friendships are created under hardship. Of course, company towns are about as simultaneously as big and as personal as social injustice gets.

    Every family has secrets and stories. Some of these secrets and stories make meaning in folk's lives. Sometimes they whisper about 'almost.' It makes you wish you could time-travel and turn that 'almost' until it turns fully, truly 'right.' Margaret O'Malley is one of a few people who might do more than wish.

    Sometimes, something so close to going right turns and goes wrong, wrong, straight on past decades of replicated wrongs.
    Can the magic of friendship, a heart full of peace, and the connection of family really change the present into a much nicer future?Margaret O'Malley hopes so. And she isn't alone. Family, friendship, community all have her back in one way or another.

    P.S. I like to fancy the Kowalski boys in this book are my husband's relatives. I admit I am biased, because I adore everything either of these authors have written. I have met Marisa at a book signing. I love David Teague's work, but I am SO pleased that this book, written by the husband and wife team, is as good as all the other books. Keep Writing!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2014


    There is so much I love about this book. What a great story of hope, friendship and faith!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2014

    This book is written for middle-grade readers. However, both th

    This book is written for middle-grade readers. However, both the adults and adolescent readers in this house enjoyed the book immensely. The writers handed off the characters seamlessly. We felt like the characters were well developed and hated to bid them good-bye at the end of the book. Kudos as well to the illustrator for the beautifully designed cover. Recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2014

    My Likes About This Book: 1.) That Margaret and Charlie are gre

    My Likes About This Book:

    1.) That Margaret and Charlie are great friends, which also looks like it could bloom into a wonderful kind of young love.

    2.)Each chapter is marked with the year the events are occurring in and the name of the character that is narrating that chapter so there was no confusion in the way of how the story flowed.

    3.)Vividly detailed settings and characters.

    4.)A storyline that tugs at your heart and makes you want to see this book all the way till the end.
    My Dislikes About This Book:
    1.)I wish there had been a little more traveling back through time. Can I get a whoop, whoop from all my fellow Dr. Who fans out there.

    2.)I feel that the change that come over Lucas Biggs towards the end of the book is to quick to be very believable even younger children can pick up on situations like this and it effects the overall view one has about the story

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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