, Ingrid Law bets everything on a single conceit, the
idea of a family whose members each possess a unique, sometimes whimsical,
sometimes supernatural, talent, which manifests itself on the bearer's
thirteenth birthday. Law asserts that her characters' talents or savvys
are "not... sorcery," but an "inheritance, like brown eyes or... [a]
talent for dancing to polka music ..." However, because of the 'magical' element
to the story, bookstores may feel obligated to market it on the Fantasy shelf
and readers expecting extravagant otherworldliness will be disappointed.
Mibs's mother explains that, "a savvy is just a know-how of a different sort...
a different flavor." And, she asserts, while the Beaumonts' talents are
spectacular, they're not the only ones who possess bewildering and wonderful
gifts: "Some people know they feel...
Beyond the Book
The World's Largest Porch Swing and Nurturing Talent
The memory of her family's visits to the
World's Largest Porch Swing in Hebron, Nebraska, sustains Mibs during the
bumpy bus ride to Salina where her seriously injured father is hospitalized.
Wackiness like The World's Largest Porch Swing has a sweetness in Savvy
and has nothing to do with kitschiness. Instead, Law is inviting us to celebrate
uniqueness wherever we find it, especially in ourselves. So if you can't make it
to Hebron to see the swing, the
Largest Things website will tell you what's unique in your neck of the
woods, i.e. Kingsburg California's World's Largest Box of Raisins; Minnesota's
World's Largest Ball of Twine, or Oklahoma's World's Largest praying hands....