By Luke Martin

I can see mountains and constellations from my driveway. My kids can play safely in the front yard. We have neighbors we can call friends. Any piece of that would have sounded like fantasy a little more than a year ago. “Leave It to Beaver” kind of stuff. We were living just outside of Chicago, and while the gunshots were not all that common, six months of winter were. My sprinting to catch the train for a 45-minute commute was. Temperatures of -35 degrees were, as well as polar vortexes, crushing property taxes, failing schools and a 100-year-old, 2-bedroom house for five people. These are not the ingredients for a winning family environment.

So in 2017, my wife and I started a year-and-a-half, nationwide search for where we wanted to raise our children. We had all kinds of criteria and a geeky spreadsheet full of charts and comparisons. Wouldn’t you guess that it was the last city we thought to include which left all the others in the dust? Hello, Boise!

We had moved around a lot, but this would be the first cross country move with kids in tow. My wife also happened to be 6-months pregnant, so the stakes were pretty high. We landed in Boise in April, walked outside of the airport and my oldest daughter’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. She bolted to a patch of grass and started dancing and shouting, “It’s summer here! It’s summer here!” (There was still snow on the ground in Chicago.) That moment, 5 minutes into our new state, was an immediate affirmation that this large, consequential choice was, indeed, the right one for my family.

“It’s like everything has been upgraded!” my wife commented the other day. She’s right: the house, the neighborhood, the weather. The safety, taxes, and schools. Our financial situation. Our quality of life. The kids’ happiness. This was the treasure that we found after moving to the Treasure Valley last year and I am SO grateful!

So naturally, as a cartoonist, I could think of no better way to show my appreciation for my family’s new home community than to write a children’s book celebrating how special it is — and that is how I came to create “Boy Sees Beautiful.”

The book follows a young boy as he discovers many of the unique, stand-out spots around Boise for the first time. If you come across a copy at the Library!, attend one of the interactive readings scheduled this summer, or just decide to pick one up from, I hope that you will enjoy the story as much as we enjoy getting to live it each day. Boise, you’re beautiful!

To learn more about “Boy Sees Beautiful,” visit

Share this article!


  1. Karen Kaye on August 7, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    So proud of my second cousin! I think you have enough material from your expanding family to write a series of inspiring, upbeat books..This is awesome! Congrats!

  2. Barbara on August 7, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Luke, love your story and knowing you are all in such a happy place.
    Congratulations on the adorable book. See you all next time.

Leave a Comment

4 + nine =