Twelve-year-old Lucy is convinced Grandpa’s emerald belt buckle is evil—just like the ring in their favorite book, The Lord of the Rings. When the buckle came into her family’s life, it caused a terrible rift, and since Grandpa’s death, everyone keeps fighting over it. Determined to save her family, Lucy sneaks off on a 300-mile, volcano-bound quest to destroy the buckle.
The belt buckle was destroying her family and Lucy didn’t know what to do.
Grandpa Gray had died suddenly. And now, five days later, the whole family was gathered at Lucy’s house after the funeral. They were supposed to be mourning him, not fighting over the one precious thing he’d left behind. Well, not the only thing.
Lucy wrapped her fingers tighter around the worn, leather-bound copy of The Lord of the Rings and breathed in the smell of smoky earth and ancient time. It was Lucy and Grandpa’s favorite book. They’d read the entire story together a dozen times. A dozen wonder-filled, magical times.
Lucy closed her eyes and tried to imagine he was there with her now, his soft white hair against her cheek, his deep chiming voice in her ears.
“Our family’s bigger!” Uncle Chuck pounded his big fist—which used to give the best fist bumps—on the long oak dinner table, rattling the platter of half-eaten ham and two pans of cheesy potatoes. “We should get that buckle.”
“I’m a single Mom!” Aunt Rhonda didn’t have a very big fist, but she did have a very big voice. “It’s obvious who needs the money more.”
Lucy squinted at the lines of little black words, desperate to escape into the book. She was back at the beginning, when Gandalf the wizard explains how the evil ring of Middle-earth must be destroyed.