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.

Definitely recommended.

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Molly 6:32 AM  

I must admit that I have never heard of this book before but the language sounds lovely. I must add it to my list.

I just completed the Giver and thoroughly enjoyed that book as well. There seems to be similar aspects of the two novels based on your review --- do you agree?

Anonymous,  8:18 AM  

Great review, Becky. It had me hooked as well. I loved even the little things, like changing the state names to Kansaska-Nebrasas. What a fun book!

Melissa 11:04 AM  

So glad you liked this one; it was one of my favorites of the Cybils books I read, and one that I need to actually go and buy... I wouldn't mind re-reading it.

Anonymous,  11:16 AM  

Oh, "the itch and scritch of birthday buzz..."that's just perfect, isn't it? And then to add,
"the Thursday before the Friday before the Saturday I turned thirteen..." genius.

Chris 12:52 PM  

Awesome! And I just checked this one out from the library too :)

Kailana 2:54 PM  

I thought this book was really fun!

Kailana 2:55 PM  

I thought this book was really fun!

prophecygirl 4:34 PM  

Great review - I love this book!

Carrie K. 7:01 PM  

This is the second positive review I've seen of this one - I'm going to pass your review on to my 12-year-old daughter - this sounds like a book she wouuld love!

Laura H 10:22 PM  

OHH I Loved Savvy. Why wasnt this book around when I was younger???

tinylittlelibrarian 11:18 PM  

Thanks for the review - this one's on my to-read list, glad to hear it's so good!

Janssen 9:28 PM  

This book delighted me - I listened to it on CD and loved every second of it.

Vasilly 9:33 PM  

I read this book before and loved it. I think the savvy I enjoyed the most was Grandpa's. I never imagined someone being able to make earthquakes.

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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