This book was on the short list of a well known editor and an established author who taught at the ACFW Greater Philly Writer’s Conference this past July. Both deal with middle grade books, and since they both used this particular book as an example during their class – and further, they both recommended it for any writer who sought to write MG – I made sure this was one of the first things I read, post-conference. And let me tell you, it was obvious within the first chapter, that ‘Savvy’ by Ingrid Law – and I can now say, the entire series – would jump right to the top of my Favorite Books list.
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.
The Short: 5 stars out of 5
The Long: If you haven’t guessed from the first paragraph of this post, I very much enjoyed this book! This story is not only fun and entertaining, but as soon as I began, I felt like a thirteen-year-old girl again. That’s not to say this book is only for middle grade readers – the book didn’t have a childish or ‘dumbed down’ feel to it, at all. Ms. Law is fantastic at creating both external and internal dialogue that is indicative of an early teen, while still creating a story interesting enough that someone of any age would enjoy it!
I was most impressed with Ms. Law’s engaging writing style, her eloquent use of various figures of speech, and her intense focus on the plot. Nothing was left to chance, and her story wove in an unexpected – but ingenious – way! This isn’t just your average MG fictional fantasy adventure to be enjoyed; I think this rates up there with some of the great literary classics.
Which is why I learned this very book has been made a new addition to a large number of school districts as required reading, throughout the country. What further impressed me, was the fact that this is Ingrid Law’s very first published novel, and that it even went on to win a Newberry Honor Award.
Highly recommended read to boys and girls of any age! This book is a fantastic example of how to write well, for anyone interested in learning the art of writing!
Happy reading, friends!