Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Savvy Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 1, 2008
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
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.
From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top Customer Reviews
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. The youngest kids, somber seven-year-old Samson and imaginative three-year-old Gypsy, are years away from getting their savvies, but when the story opens, middle child Mississippi is about to turn thirteen.
Affectionately called Mibs by her family, a nickname created by Gypsy in an attempt to pronounce her sister's name, our beloved narrator is appropriately awkward for her age and anxious for her birthday. She knows something's coming, something good.
Then something bad happens. The night before her birthday, Mibs' father is in a car accident and taken to a hospital. Momma and Rocket rush off to tend to him, leaving the other children in the care of Grandpa Bomba. Instead of having a happy birthday at home, Mibs finds herself at a gathering planned by the pastor's wife, Miss Rosemary. Mibs and her siblings, already worried about their father, now worry that Mibs' savvy will make itself known in public.
When the birthday girl discovers that a Bible salesman's bus came from the direction of the hospital where her father is resting, she impulsively sneaks on board. The stowaway count increases when Fish and Samson decide to get on the bus, as do the pastor's offspring, defiant Bobbi (who has a crush on Rocket) and gentle Will Junior (who has a crush on Mibs).
The salesman starts down the road, oblivious to his new cargo, and Mibs goes from excited to scared in the blink of an eye. They're heading in the opposite direction, away from the hospital rather than towards it! Her savvy, which had presented itself only a short while before, starts playing with her mind, but she tries to keep it a secret.
Mibs looks around and realizes that she's on an unplanned road trip to who-knows-where with two of her brothers, one of whom barely speaks, a meek salesman named Lester that she doesn't know, and the pastor's kids. As unpredictable and unprecedented as the trip may be, one thing's for certain: Mibs will never forget her thirteenth birthday.
Ingrid Law infuses her sweet family-oriented story with mischief, creating a special effect. Whether or not they have special powers, each character is easily distinguishable from the others, including the grown-ups. It's almost as if the kids from the Maggie Valley books by Kerry Madden (Gentle's Holler, etc) were given the powers of the X-Men. The fact that the Beaumonts gain their powers at the age of thirteen is a perfect nod to their coming-of-age, and this book is a treat for all ages.
Savvy is, from start to finish, a delightful journey. This rite of passage is highly recommended.
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!
I can't wait to read more about these remarkable characters from this very "savvy" author. Excellent debut!
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.