Friday, February 6, 2009

Savvy - Ingrid Law

Mississippi Beaumont, or Mibs, isn't a typical twelve year old. She's got a brother who can make lightning strike, a brother who can cause hurricanes, a mom who's just perfect, and Mibs is about to turn thirteen and find out what her secret talent (or her Savvy) is. When her dad is in an awful car crash the day before her birthday she stows away on a big pink bus along with her storm-causing brother Fish, her silent brother Samson, and the local preacher's kids to try to get to her Poppa and save him. Along the way she and her band of mischief-makers learn a lot about themselves and their relationships with each other.

The most striking thing about this novel is the voice. Mibs and her brothers have to learn to "scumble their savvies" and Law describes Mibs' Grandpa as such: "When Grandpa wasn't a grandpa and was just instead a small-fry, hobbledehoy boy blowing out thirteen dripping candles on a lopsided cake, his savvy hit him hard and sudden...and the entire state of Idaho got made. At least, that's the way Grandpa Bomba always told the story." The relationships between Mibs and her brothers, as well as between the Beaumont siblings and their newfound friends are authentic and well-formed. Savvy is an extremely enjoyable read, and is a fine pick for a 2009 Newbery Honor. Highly recommended for ages 9 to 12.


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