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Summary and book reviews of Savvy by Ingrid Law

Savvy

by Ingrid Law

Savvy
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  • First Published:
    May 2008, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2010, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

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About this Book

Book 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 Mib’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.

Excerpt
Savvy

When my brother Fish turned thirteen, we moved to the deepest part of inland because of the hurricane and, of course, the fact that he’d caused it. I had liked living down south on the edge of land, next to the pushing-pulling waves. I had liked it with a mighty kind of liking, so moving had been hard—hard like the pavement the first time I fell off my pink two-wheeler and my palms burned like fire from all of the hurt just under the skin. But it was plain that fish could live nowhere near or nearby or next to or close to or on or around any largish bodies of water. Water had a way of triggering my brother and making ordinary, everyday weather take a frightening turn for the worse.

Unlike any normal hurricane, fish’s birthday storm had started without warning. One minute, my brother was tearing paper from presents in our backyard near the beach; the next minute, both fish and the afternoon sky went a funny and fearsome ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Mibs wishes, at least temporarily, that her savvy could “give [her] the muscle to turn nasty girls into slimy green frogs or to glue their mouths shut tight with a nod of [her] head.” (p. 17) Why do the girls in Mibs’s class make fun of her? What would you do in her place?

  2. The Beaumonts have to keep their savvies a secret from everyone. Would that be difficult for you? Do you think everyone has a secret? Who would you trust with your big secrets?

  3. Why does Rosemary Meeks come to the Beaumont house? How are things different with the Meeks family around? Is her influence on the Beaumont house positive or negative?

  4. Describe Mibs’s relationship with her parents and siblings. How is it complicated by their ...
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Reviews

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With Savvy, 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.   (Reviewed by Jo Perry).

Full Review Members Only (581 words).

Media Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. There are no serious villains here, only challenges to be met, friendships to be made and some growing up to do on the road to a two-hanky climax. [A] marvel-laden debut. Ages 10-13.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. She's a natural storyteller who's created a vibrant and cinematic novel that readers are going to love. Ages 9-11.

School Library Journal

Starred Review. With its delightful premise and lively adventure, this book will please a wide variety of audiences, not just fantasy fans. Definitely an author to watch. Grades 4-7.

Booklist

Starred review. Law's storytelling is rollicking, her language imaginative, and her entire cast of whacky, yet believable characters delightful . . . wholly engaging and lots of fun.

Reader Reviews
LunaKat

Obsessed ^.^
It's always a terrible moment when I finish this book. When I found out about Scumble and thought it might be about Mibs again, I was disappointed that it wasn't. I don't know...I guess I fell in love with the characters!

Luisa

Completely amazing!
I found this book completely amazing! Especially the similes and metaphors. It's a really good story too; exciting,fun, and just the right size. I read this the first time in 4th Grade, by now I've read it about five, maybe six, times... it gets ...   Read More

carli

savvy
This book was awesome! So good I read it 4 times.

jason

awesome book
I love this book! It is really interesting and exciting.

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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 World's 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 ...

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