Friday, November 6, 2009

Savvy - Ingrid Law

Title: Savvy
Author: Ingrid Law
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2008 (Hardcover)
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Children's Fantasy/Adventure
Started: November 2, 2009
Finished: November 4, 2009

From the official book website:
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.

This was an incredibly fun book to read. It's a modern-day tall tale full of colourful, outlandish metaphors and similes, as well as seemingly impossible events. Mib's brothers make hurricanes and electricity, her grandpa makes the earth move, her grandma could capture sound waves out of the air, and her mom does everything perfectly (even when she makes a mistake she does so spectacularly). Such is the legacy for Mibs on the eve of her thirteenth birthday. With the events of her dad's accident, her horrendous birthday party, and becoming a stowaway on a Bible salesman's pink bus with two of her brothers and the preacher's kids; Mibs eventually learns what her savvy is, and that even normal people have savvies too (we just called them 'talents' all these years).

The book deals a lot with growing up and the changes that brings, which the author equates to acquiring a magic power you can't really control. It is a wonderful book for pre-teens that acknowledges that growing up can be scary, heck, I still have nightmares about half the stuff that happened when I was thirteen; but you eventually learn and mature from those experiences. I love the ending as well and what happens with Mibs' father, even though it's slightly bittersweet.

I can't express enough how much fun this book is: a cool little romp through the American midwest (aka Kansaka Nebransas) and kids with magic powers trying to outwit the adults along the way, classic kid lit. Plus, their magic is called a 'savvy'....I love that word.

Perfect for pre-teens who like a good adventure story, I think even boys would get something out of this one.

Thoughts on the cover:
I love the colours on this cover. The blues and yellows are a wonderful contrast, and the allusion to of the storm coming down upon the kids in the bus is a good one.

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