Maybe we don’t remember anymore how it was to be thirteen, but we remember being a teenager. And we remember how even small things could affect us at that gentle age.
Not everyone of us has lost their parents so early or was bullied by new students and teachers after moving in with our grandparents in another town, which is what happened to Jessica Wyrd in the middle grade novel Lightmasters – Number 13 by M.G. Wells. Sometimes not belonging to a group of our peers or being an outcast could be reason enough to seek a refuge at some isolated and mystical place where things are different and we are brave and heroes with our real but lost or imaginary friends.
Before her thirteenth birthday Jessica Wyrd is guided to the forest by a strange light where she meets three Lightmasters. Not completely convinced, she walks through an oak three and enters the whole new world and dimension. During her journey into the other world and after the encounter with other mystical creatures Jessica realizes her gift and special powers. She also learns about a big decision she will have to make as the newly recruited Lightmaster about doing battle with dark forces.
This well written middle grade novel gives us a strong portray of a bright and intelligent teenage girl who faces the choice and decision of using her gift in the eternal fight of good versus evil. Whether the choices must be made on a smaller, personal level, or as a part of a greater plan to save the world by joining ranks with mystical creatures, her implications become inevitable when she escapes to a beautiful fantasy world. Her decision carries the weight much heavier than the special jewel she gets there or the mark of the mystic she carries.
Just like Jessica, we also face choices which lead us to our decisions. Every day, on our smaller scale. Those decisions might not have the impact of saving our whole crumbling world but they are equally important. For, even though we don’t live in the world of the Lightmasters, we are the Lightmasters of our world and Jessica can be our encouragement and motivational force.
It all boils down to having choices and deciding. To give a smile or to yell at someone, to give abundantly or hold back selfishly, to offer help or deny it.
Does it take courage to be like Jessica and do we need special powers to be a good person? Yes and no. Each small deed leads to greater good. With more good we bring into this world, we lessen the power of dark forces. We don’t need more proof of their existence and we don’t need more proof of what good can do. We need a happier world though, and we can do a lot about it!
Don't forget to read my review of M.G. Wells' picture book for children Moobala Schmoobala.