Monday, April 27, 2009
Review of Savvy
Law, Ingrid. 2008. Savvy.
Savvy is another book that had me at hello. "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." Isn't that a great first sentence? Puzzling enough to hook you? I think so. A few pages later we read, "Monday through Wednesday, we called our thin stretch of land Kansaska. Thursday through Saturday, we called it Nebransas. On Sundays, since that was the Lord's Day, we called it nothing at all, out of respect for His creating our world without the lines already drawn on its face like all my grandpa's wrinkles." (4) So right from the beginning, the reader knows to expect the unexpected. Our narrator, a young girl named Mississippi (Mibs), has quite a way with words. She's fantastic. She's fun. And she's almost thirteen.
Mibs comes from a "special" family. Around the age of 13, every member of the family comes into their own on their thirteenth birthday. They discover their savvy, their special know-how power. For Fish, it was power of water--rain, thunder, winds, etc. For her brother Rocket it was electricity. Her mother's savvy is perfection. She can do things perfectly or mess up perfectly. Each member of her mother's side of the family is special like that--all unique, all special, all a bit weird.
Mibs is curious, super-super curious to get her savvy. Listen to this description of her waiting, "The itch and scritch of birthday buzz was about all I was feeling on the Thursday before the Friday before the Saturday I turned thirteen." But a few days before--the very day this passage was taken from the narrative--her birthday, her father is in a serious car accident. He's in a hospital almost 100 miles a way. While her mother and brother, Rocket, go to be with him, the rest of the kids-- Fish, Mibs, Samson, and Gypsy--are left at home.
Soon Mibs becomes convinced that her savvy will cure her father, will heal him, make him all better. But as you might imagine, savvy powers, don't quite work like that.
The novel focuses on her impromptu journey to visit her father--no matter what--and the lives she changes along the way on her special birthday weekend.
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