by Richard Anthony Rossi Jr. and Kelly Ann Tabor
*Will soon be a major motion picture!
If you’re looking for a book that sparks the imagination, warms the heart, and leaves an indelible mark on its readers, I have just the read for you. “Lucy & the Lake Monster: Volume One,” co-written by Richard Anthony Rossi Jr. and Kelly Ann Tabor is such a fun and beautiful story for young readers (and readers of all ages!) Seamlessly interweaving elements of adventure, fantasy, and profound life lessons, this charming children’s series has already made waves, not just in the literary world, but also in the lives of its readers.
At the heart of the story we have Lucy Lago, a nine-year-old orphan with an unshakeable belief in Champ, the Lake Champlain Sea Serpent, whom she believes lives near her cabin in Crown Point. Living with her affectionate grandpa, Papa, they are a duo defined by their courage, love, and an enduring spirit of adventure.
The narrative navigates us through their journey as they face mockery and materialistic forces, bravely rowing their rickety boat to bring Champ’s existence to light. But this is not just a thrilling adventure story; it is a delicate exploration of overcoming mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, and worry through the prism of childlike faith.
With Tabor’s experience as a retired school teacher and Rossi’s prowess as an Academy-Award-considered filmmaker, the tale unfolds with a unique blend of simplicity and cinematic flair. Through rich characterization, the authors capture the heartwarming bond between Lucy and Papa, providing young readers with an unforgettable example of love and resilience. Their dialogue carries the tender, timeless quality of conversations between grandparents and grandchildren, their relationship a beacon of love in a world often filled with negativity.
As much as it is an adventure, “Lucy & the Lake Monster” is an allegory. Champ, the sea serpent, embodies the authors’ exploration of faith and divinity, creating a thought-provoking narrative that serves as a subtle critique of manipulative religious narratives while promoting a view of goodness that is pure, untainted, and childlike.
Rossi and Tabor have crafted a story that manages to walk a fine line – it is both exciting and soothing, fun and profound, adventurous and introspective. They deftly balance the story’s lighter elements with deeper themes, ensuring that young readers are not just entertained but also enlightened.
All in all, I loved it and I am looking forward to the next volume!