For generations, the Beaumont family has harbored a magical secret. They each possess a "savvy" - a special supernatural power that strikes when they turn 13. Grandpa Bomba moves mountains, the 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.
©2008 Ingrid Law; (P)2008 Penguin
Mommy of twins
I liked SAVVY, I really did. It's a sweet coming of age story for a teen girl with a unique paranormal spin. Written in first person from the nearly 13 year old Mibs (short for Mississippi) Beaumont POV, her voice is down-to-earth and believable as she comes in to her own "savvy" or very special and unique power, that those in her family inherent on their 13 birthday. When tragedy strikes just days before Mibs is expected to come into her own, her true adventure begins and her world is changes for ever.
Now, although I enjoyed SAVVY, especially a couple of the plot twist near the end; there were some areas of concern I'd like to note. First off, author Ingrid Law's favor for repeating the same words three times, three times, three times... see how annoying that can become after a while? I get the use of repetition under certain "special" circumstances, which is fine, but the constant use of the repetition by the protagonist throughout the story even outside her savvy was driving me crazy. And second, even with SAVVY's strong premise, I have to admit I less then loved the excess of figurative language, finding the story overly and unnecessarily descriptive and wordy. For example...
"She sank to the floor, looking for all the world as if she were starting right through the checkered brown and blue linoleum to behold the burning hot lava core, at the very center of the earth." and "Her big hair flying up around her head, like a mane as though the angry cat was turning into a lion."
Overlooking those twitchy bits and syrupy descriptions, SAVVY is a good read, especially one I can see drawing the attention of female teen/pre-teen readers.
I enjoyed it. It is written for children perhaps 8-15 but at 52 I listened to all of it and was entertained.
What had started out as a very promising premise and fascinating summary panned out very differently. The promise of adventure stuttered to a halt less than two hours into the book, all forward momentum arrested by a less-than-sympathetic main character, cookie-cutter supporting characters with little to recommend them beyond their stereotypical characteristics, and an author-driven plot which went scurrying off every which way without much in the way of explanation. Vocabulary choices were varied, but not typical to a 13 year old girl (the first-person narrator), particularly not a thirteen year old whom the author has not taken special pains to indicate possesses a love of reading or a particularly advanced intelligence. The narrator was okay enough for the narrative portions, but lacks vocal variety for dialogue, characters sounding similar to one another and requiring careful listening to distinguish who is supposed to be whom. Also often reads it one way and then tells the audience how it is supposed to sound in the next sentence (ie, sounding bored and disinterested, and then announcing that the character said the previous in a "sharp, biting manner"). Her voice was a good choice for the first-person narrator of a 13 year old girl, but sounds too young to be taken seriously in any other role. Often annoying, it was hard to maintain the necessary interest to keep going. The preview flattered this book.
The language in this book flows with figurative language, coined words, and rhythms that will tickle your tongue (and your fancy).
The character development and hidden depths of the supporting characters was masterful. The author cares as much about the small characters as she does the main ones. I really enjoyed the parallels with the Wizard of Oz; many I had not caught when I read the book the first time.
This book made me both laugh and cry. Mibs' compassion with the homeless man was especially touching. I loved the scene on the bus when Fish blew out the windows with his temper.
My husband, 12 year old son and I listened to this book on a road trip and we all enjoyed it. The narrator did an excellent job.
The kids and I have listned to a lot of books this summer. This book delivered. The reader was easy to listen to and the book was inventive and interesting.
Will learning to scumble his weather savvy.
Different voices that are well done for the different characters.
No. It was just enjoyable and realistic in a strange sort of way... families are strong and crazy all at the same time.
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