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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's your Savvy?
This author must have a Savvy for writing great children's books, as once again she offers up a great story that combines all the elements of realistic fiction with a dab of fantasy all wrapped up in a huge amount of heart. I loved Savvy and this is an excellent companion, although they both do well as stand alone works. Once again, Law has created a character that every...
Published on September 5, 2010 by J.Prather

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Liked Savvy better . . .
My daughters and I loved Savvy and were excited about Law's new book Scumble. I had a hard time sticking this with this one though. I found it hard to empathize with the main character, Ledge. His poor me, everything I do is wrong, everybody hates me act that went on chapter after chapter felt tedious after a while. The book picked up toward the end and had an exciting...
Published on October 1, 2010 by Cathe


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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's your Savvy?, September 5, 2010
This author must have a Savvy for writing great children's books, as once again she offers up a great story that combines all the elements of realistic fiction with a dab of fantasy all wrapped up in a huge amount of heart. I loved Savvy and this is an excellent companion, although they both do well as stand alone works. Once again, Law has created a character that every youngster age 9 to 14 can easily relate to. Ledger has been waiting a long time to get his Savvy, and on his 13th birthday he is fully expecting something terrific. Above all, he doesn't want to disappoint his father, who dreams of Ledge becoming the world's fastest runner. Well, things don't really work out that way, and Ledge finds himself spending the summer at his uncle's farm trying to learn how to "scumble" this strange new power. Ledge's search for balance in his life makes for a truly unique coming of age story.

This book has tons of humor and also some gut wrenching moments as Ledge figures out how to literally put himself back together, help save his Uncle's farm, and say goodbye to a much beloved grandfather. This is not a book that relies on lots of action, although there is some to be had. What keeps these pages turning are all the wonderful characters and the odd situations in which Ledge keeps finding himself. This is a solid recommend for elementary and middle school readers who like their stories told with a hint of whimsy, a lot of fun, and maybe even a tear or two.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children, January 2, 2011
Ledger Kale belonged to a family with an unusual secret: whenever someone turned thirteen years old, they would begin to exhibit some special talent or power. As a runner, Ledge dreamed his thirteenth birthday would bring extraordinary speed to his running, but he had no such luck. Instead, he gained an uncontrollable ability to disassemble mechanical appliances, gadgets, and fixtures. The more agitated and confused he became, the worse the damage.

After visiting Uncle Autry's Wyoming ranch for a family wedding, Ledge's parents decided it might be better all around if mom and dad were to return home to their jobs while Ledge stayed out of harm's way in a gadget-free dwelling on his uncle's property. Little did they realize the quandaries that Ledge would get himself into, including several altercations with the town's most powerful property owner. Mr. Noble Cabot was forcing local business owners left and right to go into foreclosure, and his next target was Uncle Autry's ranch. Adding to the complications, Mr. Cabot had a disengagingly charming daughter who seemed to set off Ledge's destructive savvy in unpredictable ways.

This companion novel to Ingrid Law's prize winning Savvy incorporates an interesting set of economics lessons related to property rights, foreclosure, and entrepreneurship. Gaining familiarity with all the characters can take a little time, but after doing so the reader is in for an enjoyable mix of humor, adventure, and family drama.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Liked Savvy better . . ., October 1, 2010
By 
Cathe (curled up with a book) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
My daughters and I loved Savvy and were excited about Law's new book Scumble. I had a hard time sticking this with this one though. I found it hard to empathize with the main character, Ledge. His poor me, everything I do is wrong, everybody hates me act that went on chapter after chapter felt tedious after a while. The book picked up toward the end and had an exciting conclusion, but I wish the road to get there had been a little more compelling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible, and bursting with energy, humor, imagination and lots of fun and surprises., September 27, 2010
By 
KidsReads (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
A "savvy" is an extraordinary, unique, out-of-this-world, unbelievable talent that goes beyond a person's wildest imagination --- almost like a superpower. Receiving a savvy on one's 13th birthday is something that runs in certain families. Mibs Beaumont experienced quite an adventure when her savvy appeared. She can hear a person's thoughts if they have any type of writing on their skin, from a tattoo to an ink smudge. Nine years have passed since Mibs survived her 13th, and now it is her cousin's turn.

Ledger Kale has high hopes for his upcoming 13th birthday and the discovery of his savvy. His dad is positive that Ledge will achieve massive speed, which would make winning their upcoming father/son half-marathon a definite. And Ledge is all for making his dad proud. But savvys rarely satisfy expectations, and Ledge couldn't be more disappointed when he learns that his savvy is the ability to shatter things into pieces. It certainly adds a challenge to their cross-country trip from Indiana to Wyoming for a family wedding when his savvy causes the muffler to fall off the car and a tire to drop off and bounce down the highway.

Ledge is so frustrated and extremely nervous with his lack of control; the savvy creeps up on him and strikes like a lightning storm. Most of the family understands that learning control over one's savvy takes time, even years. Just ask Rocket Beaumont, who has been living at the Wyoming family ranch for a long time with his savvy for conducting his own electricity; Rocket doesn't trust himself in society, so he works on the secluded ranch. But when Ledge accidentally breaks apart the big barn housing the wedding reception, everyone agrees that it would be best if Ledge stays in Wyoming for a bit to adjust to his new savvy.

Ledge is completely discouraged when his parents leave him at the ranch for the summer, but he isn't alone. He has an uncle, grandfather, younger sister and various cousins to offer advice, sometimes welcomed and other times not. Among his western adventures, he rediscovers an old love of art and building things, forms a strong friendship with Rocket, and even begins to appreciate his savvy. Ledge attempts to survive all of this, along with trying to hide his family secret from an inquisitive 13-year-old reporter named Sarah Jane, whose grouchy father is determined to foreclose on the entire town, including the family ranch. Turning 13 can definitely be a challenge!

Ingrid Law is the genius behind the incredible Savvy stories. Her first novel, SAVVY, not only amazed readers with its spark, but it also won the Newberry Honor Award in 2009. Her companion novel, SCUMBLE, is just as incredible, and bursting with energy, humor, imagination and lots of fun and surprises. Ledge may attract more males to the Savvy fan base, but female readers will love it, too. Law does a wonderful job catching readers up on what's happening without boring repetition. She writes with an openness and honesty that really invite the readers to become involved with the colorful characters and feel their emotions. She also utilizes lots of relatable descriptions touching all of the senses, which brings the background to life and slides in some awesome alliteration that tickles the tongue. In addition, she skillfully weaves in some words of wisdom, like finding the courage to be yourself, facing one's fears, and thinking through choices. SCUMBLE is so much fun. Save some room on the bookshelf for this up-and-coming author.

--- Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific whimsical coming of age tale, August 26, 2010
When he turns thirteen, Ledger Kale inherits his genetic Savvy, but hates the feeling of what he describes as red ants running wild in his blood. He especially is ashamed because he cannot control his Savvy unlike his family including his older cousin Mibs (see Savvy); his power leads to destruction of human created objects.

Fearing for their son (and society), who has not learned how to Scumble his Savvy, his parents leave Ledge and their younger daughter seven year old Fedora at the remote Wyoming insect ranch of Uncle Autry. Also staying at Flying Cattleheart Ranch are several of Ledge's cousins. Complicating the situation is thirteen year old Sarah Jane Cabot, snooping wannabe reporter who sees exposé articles on the strange extended family at the ranch. At the same time her businessman father sets out to take ownership of local establishments including Autry's ranch. Ledge knows life at the ranch is at least as complicated as back home.

This is a terrific whimsical coming of age tale that targets middle school readers (and my spouse) with its insectoid humor, but will be enjoyed by adults as a strong metaphoric novel as well. Filled with a conscience and guilt, Ledge is a fabulous narrator whether he discusses with readers the plight of destroying his father's nose trimmer, spilling his guts to feed carnivores, or the quandary caused by the snoop queen. The support cast at the ranch also brings humor to the mix. However, this is Ledge's saga as he struggles with the change from tweener to adolescence causing him emotional stress and physical imbalance; all because his Savvy has surfaced out of Scumble control.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than Savvy!, August 17, 2010
By 
Sarah (Middle of the US) - See all my reviews
Ingrid Law's marvelous Newbery-honor-winning first book, SAVVY, was about just-turned-13-years-old Mibs and her journey to help her injured father. It's also about Mibs discovering her "savvy," sort of like her secret power, and discovering herself.

I liked SAVVY a lot, but SCUMBLE won my heart. It's not a sequel to the first book, but a "companion novel" about one of Mibs' cousins, a boy named Ledge who, like Mibs, has just discovered his savvy. As it is for Mibs, the savvy is not a simple "magical power," it's more complicated than that, and presents Ledge with huge challenges. In order to "scumble," or learn to control, his savvy, Ledge is sent off to stay with a bunch of his crazy relatives at their remote ranch. From there the adventures begin as Ledge tangles with an unscrupulous (or, maybe grieving) land developer, a tenacious girl reporter, and some of his very own cousins and their sometimes dangerous savvies.

Ledge is a compelling character who tries to do the right thing despite his own wish to run away from everything and his...let's call them "self destructive" tendencies. At times Ledge's predicament made my heart hurt. Yet he never asks the reader to feel sorry for him, even at his worst moments, like when dealing with his mother, whose savvy is that she must be obeyed when she gives an order (can you imagine!!?).

One of the great delights of the book is all the secondary characters. It's a huge cast, but every single one of them is wonderfully distinctive. I fell in love with Grandpa Bomba, with Rocket, and most of all with Mibs' youngest brother, Samson. I'd love to see another "Savvy" book about Samson; there's a big story behind this character, I'm sure.

In some ways this is a sprawling book, with lots of secondary characters and plotlines running all over the place, but the author ties everything up wonderfully at the end. It's a satisfying, wondrous read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Enchanting, August 25, 2010
By 
Jacqueline (Lone Jack, MO USA) - See all my reviews
This second book was just as enchanting as the first, Savvy. Wonderful world building. I wish I had a savvy and I'm sure that every child who reads this book wishes the same thing. The author has tapped into the magical realm where children reside before adult life beats wonder out of them. And there's even a lesson. But like the very best writing, the message is woven through the beautifully told story instead of whacking the reader over the head. In this case basically the lesson to be learned is that we shouldn't just let life happen to us but rather we should think through our choices and choose the best/wisest one and then follow through.

I loved Ledger. He was a charming boy. The secondary characters were well done. The savvies were all entertaining. I was glad to see Rocket (best name ever) get control of his savvy and get a girl. I hope Ms. Law is not done with the series. I would love to see Ledger's little sister, Fedora, when she gets her savvy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why I Liked Scumble, April 10, 2011
A Kid's Review
I recommend Scumble to anyone who liked Savvy because it is an interesting continuation of the Kale family, a family with unique Savvy power. In the beginning Ledger Kale turns thirteen and gets a Savvy. A Savvy is a magical power that you get when you turn his age. He could tell that he had a bad Savvy when he broke everything in the car on the way to the ranch. His dad yelled, his mom screamed, and his sister complained. This was a horrible day for Ledger. In time Ledger learned to scumble or master his Savvy. This new ability to scumble makes Ledger feel great because he can really be counted on to do things without damage. In the middle Ledger gets the big surprise. In the end the worst comes. Read Scumble and you will love it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars So much fun!, February 10, 2011
By 
Full of heart and humor, Scumble is another winner from Ingrid Law!

Nine years after Mibs Beaumont takes us on her Savvy adventure, her cousin, Ledger Kale, turns 13 and has his own story to tell in Scumble.

Ledger has a more active Savvy than Mibs, and he's having a hard time with his ability to scumble it.

Under the orders of his mother, who happens to have the power to control people, Ledge is able to control his savvy while at a family wedding on Uncle Autry's ranch, but she can only control him so much and Ledge makes a bit of a mess. He is left on Autry's ranch with his sister and a few of his cousins in the hopes that they can help him.

Unfortunately, Ledge breaks the first rule of having a Savvy - keeping it secret. A girl named Sarah Jane became witness to something she was not meant to see. Not only is his savvy a danger, the secret is out and Sarah Jane could endanger the whole family.

--------
Scumble truly is a companion book, there is no order, and either one could be read on its own. That being said, I welcomed the familiar and lovable Beaumonts from Savvy when they made a few appearances - or disappearances as the case may be - and we got a chance to see what became of them after nine years.

If Savvy was hearts and flowers, Scumble is metal and electricity. Not to say boys won't enjoy Savvy and girls won't enjoy Scumble, but the points of view are different and offer readers a different look at the family secret. The characters are just as vivid, the imagery will stay with you, and if you're like me, you'll want to jump into this world and catch yourself a savvy!

I am a new fan of Ingrid Law and can not wait to see what she comes up with next. I would love to see another companion book, for I still haven't had enough of this amazingly different, loving family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Suspend your disbelief, enjoy the ride, August 25, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you are obsessed with realism, "Scumble" is not your book. But if you like a tall tale as much as the next feller, then hold on to your hat and keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle until the ride comes to a full and complete stop. Oh yeah, and you might want to remove any metal or mechanical accessories.

Scumble, like its predecessor and companion book "Savvy", is a coming of age tale of a thirteen-year-old in a family "misfits" who each get a special and unique talent ("savvy") on their thirteenth birthday. The protagonist of this book is Ledger "Ledge" Kale, cousin of Mississippi "Mibs" Beaumont of Savvy fame. Ledge's talent is destroying mechanical things, which is unfortunate, as the family is trying to drive cross-country to get to his cousin's wedding.

Needless to say, Ledge's savvy doesn't mix well with the wedding. But that itself wouldn't be such a problem, as the wedding is held at his uncle's secluded ranch and attended solely by people who either have their own savvies or are at least familiar and comfortable with the idea. Except for one person, that is. Sarah Jane "SJ" Cabot, the daughter of the man who happens to hold the deed to Uncle Autry's ranch and publisher of the "Sundance Scuttlebutt", stows away in the Kale's van, attends the wedding and witnesses not only Ledge's savvy in spectacular action, but also the savvies of other members of the Kale/Beaumont/O'Connell clan.

Left by his parents at the O'Connell ranch to learn to scumble his savvy, Ledge must try to retrieve a special savvy object which SJ managed to abscond with and persuade the infuriating SJ not to publish his family's secrets, all while trying not to destroy every vehicle and structure in his path. Unfortunately, however, he is forbidden from seeing SJ because Uncle Autry doesn't want to anger her father Noble Cabot, who is trying to "protect" his daughter - from what or why, we're not really sure. Oh, and did I mention that Ledge also has rather wild twin cousins Mesquite and Marisol who use their levitation savvy to torment him, largely under the guise of "helping" him learn to scumble his savvy? Or that he's relegated to living in a concrete bunker far from the main house with his cousin Rocket whom he's convinced holds him in utter contempt? With what he has to contend with, it's amazing a single nut or bolt manages to stay in place anywhere in Crook County, Wyoming.

Of course, in true Ingrid Law fashion, everything all comes together in a fantastical whirlwind of events. There's a saying something like, if a gun is described as hanging on the wall on the first page, it better have been fired by the last page. Ms. Law is a master of this. Casually mentioned facts and events have a way of popping up again at just the right time to tidy the tale into a neat packages with all loose strings tied up. To a reader who's been paying attention, much of this wrap-up is somewhat predictable, but it only adds to the fun to try to guess where the story is headed.

Ms. Law herself has a savvy - the ability to make words dance on the page. Her use of alliteration, metaphors and similes make the book both visually and aurally delightful. Of course, even a well-scumbled savvy doesn't always work perfectly (unless you're Jenny Beaumont!) and some of the verbal contortions fall a bit flat, but most are witty and well placed. I could practically feel icy ants in soccer cleats marching across my own skin.

If you liked Savvy, you'll like Scumble - they compare very favorably. I found Scumble a bit harder to get into, the characters a bit harder to get to know. I think that may be because the cast of characters is quite a bit larger in "Scumble", so it takes a bit of time to round them out. But the final dramatics in "Scumble" make it an even taller tale - and wilder ride - than Savvy. As in Savvy, Ms. Law tends to get a bit heavy-handed as an author - there are times she needs to learn to loosen up and trust her readers. Much of the last chapter, for instance, could have been left to savvy readers to understand for themselves - like exactly what it was that Rocket needed to learn about scumbling.

But the minor flaws, such as they are, hardly detract from the overall impact of the book. "Scumble" is a rompin' read, and I recommend it to anyone - kid or adult - who's ever felt a bit out of place. It is truly our differences - no matter how seemingly negative - that when well-scumbled, give us our identity and our sense of belonging.
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Scumble
Scumble by Ingrid Law (Paperback - August 9, 2011)
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