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 .Read more...
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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 60.
- Review Date: 2008-04-07
- Reviewer: Staff
SignatureReviewed by Sarah MlynowskiIn Mississippi Beaumont's family, turning 13 means your savvy kicks in. When her grandfather turned 13, he created Idaho. And when her brother turned 13, he caused a hurricane. At the start of Law's winning debut novel, Mississippi's 13th birthday is only two days away.With her dad in a coma after a horrible car accident, Mississippi is convinced that her savvy will have something to do with waking people up. Along with her brothers, the cute preacher's son and his obnoxious gum-chomping sister, she sneaks aboard a delivery bus she believes is heading toward her dad, hoping to save him.The thing about Mississippi? She's not always right. Turns out, her savvy has her hearing a whole bunch of voices—in her head. When people around her have any type of ink—say, a tattoo or a pen mark—on their skin, she can't help but read their minds.What makes this book so engaging is that aside from the whole mind-reading thing, Mississippi isn't extraordinary. She's not excessively brilliant, incredibly attractive or overly girly. She's afraid of growing up. She prefers to be called Mibs, but the mean girls call her Missy-Pissy. She wishes she could mess up less and be more like her perfect mom. (Literally, perfect—that's her mother's savvy.) Readers, boys and girls alike, will see a bit of themselves in Mibs.Also, the Beaumonts aren't the only ones with savvys. Normal people (the bus driver, the hitchhiker, the obnoxious gum-chomper) have them, too—they just don't recognize them. As Mibs's mom says, “One person might make strawberry jam so good that no one can get enough of it.... There are even those folks who never get splashed by mud after a rainstorm or bit by a single mosquito in the summertime.” The 10-year-old boy or the 40-year-old mom reading the book—they might just have one, too.Besides saving her dad, Mibs's quest in the novel is to learn to “scumble”—in other words, control her savvy. She has to learn to quiet the voices she hears, and to find her own voice.Law has definitely found hers. Short chapters and cliffhangers keep the pace quick, while the mix of traditional language and vernacular helps the story feel both fresh and timeless. And while road-trip novels tend to be more about the journey than the destination, the ending, like Momma's savvy, is pretty perfect. I wasn't sure how Law was going to manage it without going all fairy-tale, but she does the story justice, making the conclusion happy and heart-rending simultaneously, resisting the urge to tie it all up with a fancy ribbon and a happily ever after.Law's savvy? She's a natural storyteller who's created a vibrant and cinematic novel that readers are going to love. Ages 9-11. (May)Sarah Mlynowski is the author of the Magic in Manhattan series, the most recent of which is Spells & Sleeping Bags (paperback reprint from Delacorte due this month), and, with E. Lockhart and Lauren Myracle, the coauthor of How to Be Bad (HarperTeen, May).
Finding her own special gift
Like most 12 year olds, Mibs (short for Mississippi) Beaumont is looking forward to her 13th birthday. But in the Beaumont family, this means a lot more than just becoming a teenager at last. On her special day, Mibs will discover her very own "savvy," her special, paranormal power.
Before that fateful day, Mibs can only speculate what her savvy will be. It might be a bit overwhelming, like her brother Fish's tendency to cause terrible weather. It might be electric through and through, just like her brother Rocket's power. Or it might be gentle, like her mother's gift of making everything turn out, well, perfect.
But just before Mibs' big day, her beloved poppa is in a traffic accident. Her mother and Rocket drive off to be with him (Rocket is needed to power the old station wagon!), leaving the rest of the family with Grandpa Bomba (whose savvy is, well, making new places. Where do you think the entire state of Idaho came from, anyway?).
When Mibs suspects her savvy might help Poppa wake up, she has to find a way to get the 90 miles to Salina, Kansas, even if it means commandeering the pink bus of the Heartland Bible Supply company. And if Mibs thinks she can undertake this journey alone, well, fate would have it otherwise.
Mibs is destined to share the ride not just with the Bible delivery-man, Lester, but with the preacher's kids, the snooty Bobbi and the sweet Will Junior. And then of course there's a small stowaway, her moody little brother, Samson. And that's just the beginning!
During this event-filled journey, Mibs discovers that her savvy-, along with her first impressions about people-, might be different than she expected. She also comes to realize that although the Beaumonts have often been outcasts, it's possible to find community in unexpected places.
Ingrid Law's debut novel Savvy is already a hit with tween readers and is being mentioned as a Newbery contender. If you thought the road trip in the film Little Miss Sunshine was wild, hold onto your hat! Or better yet, open up Savvy and settle in for a delightful read.