Terri's Reviews > Savvy

Savvy by Ingrid Law
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Aug 11, 08

bookshelves: highly-recommended
Recommended to Terri by: Kristi Hazelrigg
Recommended for: grades 4-7
Read in August, 2008

Mississippi Beaumont, better known as Mibs, is the soon-to-be thirteen-year-old daughter in an extraordinary family, a family whose members, usually on their thirteenth birthday, become aware of and able to use their "savvy," a supernatural gift or power. Don't get me wrong, they're not superheroes, just ordinary people who each have one extraordinary ability. Grandpa can move mountains, literally. Rocket can create electricity, and Fish creates weather (not always under control). Each Beaumont must learn to "scumble" the savvy so it is controlled and doesn't pose danger for anyone.

Law unfortunately doesn't offer an definition of "scumble," an art term which is so appropriate in this sense. An artist scumbles the color or tone of a painted area by using an almost dry brush to overlay thin layers of opaque or semiopaque color over parts of the painting. It tones down and lessens the intensity of the area, and that's exactly what the Beaumont children must learn to do when they come into their savvies, soften or tone it down by covering it with layers of self control that allows the savvy to enhance their lives instead of control them.

I really enjoyed this book that speaks to the importance of family, friends, and individuality on so many levels. Virtually every contemporary realisict novel I pick up seems to have a single parent or dysfunctional family. It sometimes seems that is no one writing about "normal" families any more. While the Beaumonts are by no means average, their family functions as a normal one with traditional values. I loved them and think other readers will, too.
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