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Savvy Paperback – March 23, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (March 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142414336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142414330
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description
A vibrant new voice . . . a modern classic.

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 Mibs'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.


A Q&A with Ingrid Law

Question: What inspired you to write Savvy?

Answer: When I started Savvy, I wanted to create a different kind of magic—one that called to mind the feel of a modern American tall-tale. I wanted to break away from the traditional tales about magic and find roots in the soil around me. What would magic look like if it sprang up in the small towns of America? And what in the world would it be called if I didn't want to call that distinctive know-how magic? I enjoyed setting Savvy in our ordinary, everyday world, and filling it with larger-than-life characters who have very normal, human reactions and fears.

Q: Do you have a distinctive talent, trait or "savvy" of your own?

A: With a savvy, there is always the element of the ideal versus the reality-what you dream about versus what you get. If I could pick, my savvy would probably be the ability to fly or to breathe underwater. But if I were to declare what my real, true, everyday savvy is, I think that I would have to say that I smile a lot, even through rough times. And I tend to spill things-usually on my shirt at dinner parties!

Q: What was your family like growing up?

A: Growing up, my family consisted of a mom, a dad, an older sister, a few (dozen) rabbits, numerous hamsters, gerbils, several birds, and a goldfish that lived about twelve centuries in goldfish years. I didn't have a big family like the Beaumonts, but we did have our own share of unusual attributes, and my sister and I were always encouraged to follow our hearts and explore our talents.

Q: Are any of your characters based on you or your family?

A: I think it might be impossible not to put a tiny bit of oneself into at least a few characters. Like Samson, I prefer solitude. Like Lester, I tend to twitch. Like Lill, I often feel big and small at the same time. And like Mibs, I still struggle to weed out other people's voices from my head.

Q: Savvy is your first novel. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

A: I'd be worrying more! I think that anxiety is simply an active imagination put to the wrong use. I try to redirect all of the 'What-If's' of worrying into the 'What-If's' of storytelling.

Q: Where do you write?

A: I have an overstuffed chair that's big enough for me to sit in cross-legged and pull a laptop table up to when I write. It's like a nest. It's my favorite place in the house.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–7—Mississippi Beaumont ("Mibs" for short) simply cannot wait for her 13th birthday. There's the allure of finally becoming a teenager, of course, but in the Beaumont family, 13 is when family members get their "savvy," or unworldly power. For Mibs's older brother Fish, it's control over the elements, and for her mother it's the ability to do everything perfectly. Unfortunately, Mibs's excitement is cut short when her father is injured in a car accident. Convinced that her new powers will be able to save her Poppa, she and some new friends climb aboard a bus toting pink bibles on her birthday, in the hopes of getting to the hospital. Instead they find themselves headed in the wrong direction with the cops looking for them, Mibs's powerful brother seriously angry, and the son of a preacher man she has a crush on coming dangerously close to figuring out the Beaumonts' secret. Mibs's real savvy isn't what she expected, and neither are her traveling companions. Though the story never lives up to the brilliance of its opening chapter, Law has a feel for characters and language that is matched by few. 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.—Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

2009 Newbery Honor winner, INGRID LAW, is the New York Times Bestselling author of Savvy, and its new companion novel, Scumble. Ingrid is a fan of words and stories, small towns and big ideas. Born in New York, Ingrid's family moved to Colorado when she was six years old. Ingrid still lives in Colorado, where she is working on her next book.

Customer Reviews

The plot is fun and bouncy, in a good way, with a lot of lovely characters.
Amber McKinney
She's read it loads of time and asked for it to be the first book on her newly acquired kindle.
Nathalie
Ingrid Law is an excellent writer and I look forward to reading her next book!
Alison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on May 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Beaumonts are a unique family made up truly talented individuals. As each kid hits the age of thirteen, his or her inherent power comes to light. They call this talent "savvy," and it can be anything. When a Beaumont celebrates that fateful, lucky thirteen, everyone waits with baited breath to see what happens. No matter what, a savvy is one birthday gift you can't return.

They don't know exactly where it comes from, but they do know that it runs down Momma's side of the family. Daddy's a regular guy, happy with his family and content with his job. Meanwhile, Momma's relatives can do all sorts of wacky things. Great-Aunt Jules would step back twenty minutes in time every time she sneezed. Olive, a second cousin, has the ability to melt ice with her glare. Grandpa Bomba creates new places "whenever and wherever" he pleases, such as the stretch of land stuck between Kansas and Nebraska where he lives with his daughter and their family. (They call it Kansaska or Nebransas.) His wife caught radio waves in old glass jars, saving snippets of songs and stories that she could tune into anytime. Now that she's passed away, the family is extremely careful with these containers and treasures the sounds they emit upon a gentle loosening of their lids.

Then there's the immediately family. Momma's perfect, always - that's her savvy. Oldest child Rocket, aged seventeen, is the body electric, able to illuminate rooms during a blackout or teasingly zap a sibling whenever he feels like it. Weather shakes the next oldest boy, fourteen-year-old Fish, whose emotional hurricane can manifest into a real storm.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Yoomi VINE VOICE on May 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i picked this book up by chance and bought it after reading the first 10 pages because i didn't want to put it down. Mibs (short for Mississippi) is a wonderful character who turns 13 in the beginning of the story. it is an important age for anyone but especially for the Beaumonts, who find out at 13 what their "savvy" is. her brother Rocket can create electricity. her brother Fish can make hurricanes. her grandfather can move mountains. now it's her turn.

but her father gets into an accident, turning everything upside down and sending them on an adventure that teaches them some hard life lessons.

it's a refreshing story about growing up, about being different, about listening to your voice instead of others around you to figure out who you are. i especially love the message that we shouldn't be in such a hurry to grow up.

the story moves along quickly and vividly due to Ingrid Law's use of language and illiteration:
"like the ticks and tocks of a clock"
"with a zest and a zing and a zeal"
"hurly-burly fluster of truth telling"

the ending is touching but believable, not syrupy or fantastical, which stories like this are in danger of doing. i sincerely hope she'll continue the story and write a series because this one book wasn't enough!
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Linda Joy Singleton on May 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the first delicious page, I was hooked. SAVVY is full of inspiring, delightful, loveable characters. SAVVY takes you on an amazing bus trip into laughter and magical excitement. I hope this book receives lots of industry buzz and awards because it's amazing and memorable. It's one of my favorite reads for 2008.

I can't wait to read more about these remarkable characters from this very "savvy" author. Excellent debut!
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The idea behind Savvy is pitch-perfect: a family where the leap from childhood into the wild unknown of adulthood is even wilder and more unknown than usual. You hit adolescence in this family, and you acquire a "savvy" -- a mysterious, magical talent. A very specific, and often very strange one. (I loved the Grandma who could save radio broadcasts in canning jars.) The characters are charming and individual, the situations and dialog are funny...so why only three stars?

I don't think I've ever read a book where a young character stops more times to suddenly contemplate at heartfelt length that her life has changed, or that she's growing up, or that such-and-such a moment has some special meaning that she'll always remember and she'll never be the same. It bogs down the narrative terribly. Worse yet, it's unnecessary. We get it! It's a coming of age story! We understand why these moments are important, and we see the characters change and grow. But to be constantly told what we're seeing kills the suspension of disbelief, not to mention the light, funny rhythm of the storytelling. I hope this obviously talented writer will trust herself and her readers a little more next time around.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kammy T on November 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a fun quick read that I would say would be most appealing for 4th and 5th graders. The story is told through Mibs Beaumont, who comes from a family with special powers they refrer to as "savvy." The special "how-to" usually appears on the child's 13th birthday. Of course the savvy is powerful, and it takes time and effort for the kids to keep it in control. As a result, one of her brothers started an hurricane on accident, and another quite often causes power outages.

Right before her 13th birthday, Mibs' father is in a horrible accident. Most of the book is about the adventure she and two of her brothers go on trying to get to the hospital to see him. They make some questionable decisions, and luckily everything turns out alright.

The best part of this story is that it teaches simple lessons about the difference between what people show on the outside, and what they are on the inside. It is sweet and simple.
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