Length: 342 pages
Acquired: Local library
Award: Newbery Honor
Personal Enjoyment Factor: 4/5
Mississippi Beaumont (Mibs for short) is about to turn 13, the critical age when members of the Beaumont clan discover what extraordinary power, or "Savvy" they have. One of her brothers causes hurricanes. Another brother can generate electricity. And her mom, well, she's just perfect. At everything.
But before Mibs gets to blow out the 13 candles on her perfect birthday cake, her father is in a serious accident along the highway near the city where he works. She hopes that when her Savvy surfaces, it will be a power that will help her save her father's life. After series of detours and challenges along the way in an old pink bus with her brothers and the preacher's kids in tow, Mibs finally gets to her Poppa to figure out what she can do to help.
I totally enjoyed Law's style of storytelling. The alliterative/rhyming wordplay was fun and it fit the quirkiness of the characters. While the idea of growing into superpowers and struggling to control them is not necessarily an original idea, she twists the concept in a fresh way with a message of resilience that is valuable for kids and adults alike. Some of the abilities of the characters were delightfully creative, and the love they all have for one another is a theme that never gets old (for me, anyway).
I'm a crybaby and it takes little for me to lose it (Blindside (the movie) = 1 box tissue), so at the end of the book my youngest daughter and I were tag-teaming it during the places I couldn't get the words out because I was blubbering. I'm looking forward to the companion novel, Scumble, out in August of this year.
Additional thoughts from the "kidlings":
Eleven-year-old (a reluctant reviewer--this was all I could get out of her even though I offered a generous handful of pebbles for her rewards jar): "The book Savvy was very interesting and original. It was an exciting book and made me want to keep listening. Once you hear one thing you want to hear the next. My favorite character is Mibs' little brother Samson because of how shy he is and it's funny. Savvy is a wonderful book."
Eight-year-old (who included spoilers so I had to edit): "I liked the story Savvy. It was a little sad at the beginning. But at the end [spoiler excluded :-)] If you have the chance, read the story Savvy." I couldn't have said it better myself!