I recently read Savvy by Ingrid Law with my daughter Catherine, who’s 14. We both liked it, and we thought it finds an interesting balance between realistic and fantasy fiction while giving the reader lots to think about. It’s most approachable for upper elementary and middle school readers, but older readers can appreciate it too. Here’s my review:
Mississippi Beaumont can’t wait for her 13th birthday, only days away, because that’s when she’ll officially get her savvy. All the Beaumont’s, except Poppa, have a savvy that is uniquely their own. Mama is perfect, Grandpa Bomba makes new land, Rocket controls electricity and Fish can create storms and move water. Trouble is, the savvy is hard to control when it first comes in, and Mississippi, better known as Mibs, is nervous about what will happen at her party.
When her dad ends up in a coma in the hospital after a car accident and her mother leaves the family to be with him, the preacher’s wife organizes a birthday party for Mibs, making all the Beaumonts nervous about what will happen on the big day. But the fun really starts when Mibs decides to stow away on a broken down Bible-delivery bus, hoping to reach Salina, Kansas, where she believes she can wake Poppa up. Along for the ride are her older brother Fish, her younger brother Samson, and the preacher’s children, Bobbi and Will Junior.
Mibs has a great, down-to-earth voice, and readers will happily follow her as she explores issues of family, friendship, budding romance, and finding the things that are special inside each of us. You may just find yourself looking for your own special savvy. You can also look for games and a discussion guide at the publisher’s Web site, www.penguin.com/teachersandlibrarians.