Sunday, July 1, 2012

MIDDLE GRADE SUNDAY: Savvy by Ingrid Law

Publisher: Puffin Books
Pages: 342
Series or Stand Alone: has a companion novel called Scumble
Summary: For generations, the Beaumont family has harbored a magical secret. They each possess a "savvy" -a special supernatural power that strikes when they turn thirteen. Grandpa Bomba moves mountains, her older brothers create hurricanes and spark electricity . . . and now it's the eve of Mibs's big day.
As if waiting weren't hard enough, the family gets scary news two days before Mibs's birthday: Poppa has been in a terrible accident. Mibs develops the singular mission to get to the hospital and prove that her new power can save her dad. So she sneaks onto a salesman's bus . . . only to find the bus heading in the opposite direction. Suddenly Mibs finds herself on an unforgettable odyssey that will force her to make sense of growing up-and of other people, who might also have a few secrets hidden just beneath the skin.

There’s magic, secrets, and a great family story in this one. The whole idea of the “savvy” was really cool--there were abilities that seemed totally human, like Mibs’s mother’s ability to do everything perfectly, but also supernatural ones, such as her brother’s control over electricity. I love the idea that everyone, even the non-magical ones, have some sort of savvy that affects the people and environment around them.
Mibs is an awesome protagonist. She doesn’t fit in very well at her school, but she knows that once her savvy kicks in, she’ll probably be pulled from her school anyway so she doesn’t worry about it. She tries to ignore the bitchy girls and stay true to herself and her family. For example, when the girls mock her youngish dress, she doesn’t let it bother her too much because her father bought it for her birthday.
The close-knit relationship Mibs’s family had was really the strong point of this novel. Her love for her father drives the entire story, considering Mibs, her siblings, and friends run away in an attempt to visit him while he’s in the hospital. It was great to see such a great family dynamic in a middle grade book.
Ingrid Law’s Savvy was a wonderful middle grade story with a touch of magic. I’ll definitely be reading Scumble!

Rating: 4.5 - great!

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