Happy Saturday, y’all!
It’s been a good one around here as I’ve been to Half Price Books, ordered a few books on Amazon, and did a little book reorganizing. I’m a nerd and love finding places for all my books. And I’m thinking I want a book cart. Does anyone have one and love it?
Today I’m excited to share my review of Savvy by Ingrid Law. I came across this book while looking at the list of Newbery Honor books from recent years. This was an Honor book in 2009 behind The Graveyard Book which has been one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. I really enjoyed this Newbery Honor book! The premise is very clever and the storytelling is exciting and fun.
- Law’s writing is charming and simple. She is a great storyteller who uses common words and situations in clever new ways. Her writing helps readers see the world in a new, more open way.
- This novel has a fun, quirky cast of characters that are easy to connect with. You can’t help but root for them and hope they’ll all get a happy ending.
- I love the cover of this novel which drew me in right away.
- This is a quick read for an adult. I finished it in just a few days. I also think this would be a fun book to read aloud to older elementary aged kids.
Savvy by Ingrid Law follows the coming of age story of Mibs, a girl who is about to discover her savvy. Goodreads summaries, “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.”
“When something like that comes along, whether it’s an accident or a savvy or a very first kiss, life takes a turn and you can’t step back. All you can do is keep moving forward and remember what you’ve learned.”
“You never can tell when a bad thing might make a good thing happen. I realized that good and bad were always there and always mixed up together in a tangle.”
“You can’t get rid of a part that makes you you and be happy.”
Savvy by Ingrid Law
What sets this novel apart is it’s clever, (somewhat) magical element: the savvy. Each member of the Beaumont family has one. And at first, I just wanted to know if Mibs would have a cool one like her brothers who cause hurricanes and make electricity. But as the story continues, and you learn what her savvy is, I started to think of savvies differently. Mibs’ story comes with a series of flashbacks to experiences with her family before the accident. At one point, Mibs learns that a savvy is “just a know-how of a different sort.” That all people have a savvy but some just haven’t discovered it yet. Some are big like Mib’s brothers, but others are small like remembering names, talent on the piano or an ability to never get mosquito bites (I definitely don’t have that one!). I love the idea that we all have a savvy. That there is something uniquely ours that makes us who we are.
Mibs was a fun protagonist. She was easy to cheer for from the first chapter when we learn about her upcoming birthday and the accident. I wanted to give her a hug about 100 times over the course of the novel. It feels like we are piecing together who she is along with how she will get to her Poppa. She felt older as the story progressed. She is loyal, determined, and kind. I admire those qualities in her. A highlight of the story for me was learning about Mibs’ savvy. It was so interesting! I would have liked even more details about it and why it worked in certain ways. And perhaps an even longer and more specific epilogue explaining how her scumbling (learning to live with her savvy) was going a year later.
I loved the fast paced plot of this novel. While it only takes place over the course of a few days, it’s exciting to see what happens next. The sets of siblings get into a lot of trouble and have a lot of fun. I love that they all become friends by the end. The characters are all so different but that makes them fun to see interact and butt heads. I also really liked the ending of the novel. It was a perfect blend of sadness and joy. It felt very satisfying after the journey to get there.
I would have liked more description of savvies and how they work. We just get the basics of Mibs and hardly any details of anyone else and their savvy. And perhaps more development of the fact that everyone has a savvy, not just the “special” people. That was a really intriguing idea. It being a children’s book, I can appreciate why she kept the description more surface level. But the premise fascinated me.
A fun, intriguing read that showcases the power of embracing who you are and the importance of family. Highly recommend!
What are some of your favorite Newbery Honor books?
What savvy would you like to have?