Rachel McGill, August 5, 2012 (view all comments by Rachel McGill)
I really enjoyed this book and loved all of the characters! I'm a lover of children's fiction and bought this one on a whim. I'm glad I did and can't wait to get the second one.
Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, January 12, 2010 (view all comments by Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com)
Mississippi Beaumont can't wait for her 13th birthday, only days away, because that's when she'll officially get her savvy. All the Beaumont's, except Poppa, have a savvy that is uniquely their own. Mama is perfect, Grandpa Bomba makes new land, Rocket controls electricity and Fish can create storms and move water. Trouble is, the savvy is hard to control when it first comes in, and Mississippi, better known as Mibs, is nervous about what will happen at her party.
When her dad ends up in a coma in the hospital after a car accident and her mother leaves the family to be with him, the preacher's wife organizes a birthday party for Mibs, making all the Beaumonts nervous about what will happen on the big day. But the fun really starts when Mibs decides to stow away on a broken down Bible-delivery bus, hoping to reach Salina, Kansas, where she believes she can wake Poppa up. Along for the ride are her older brother Fish, her younger brother Samson, and the preacher's children, Bobbi and Will Junior.
Mibs has a great, down-to-earth voice, and readers will happily follow her as she explores issues of family, friendship, budding romance, and finding the things that are special inside each of us. You may just find yourself looking for your own special savvy. You can also look for games and a discussion guide at the publisher's Web site, www.penguin.com. Then click on the link for teachers and librarians.
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Debbi, February 10, 2009 (view all comments by Debbi)
From middle school readers through gram & gramps, this is a must read. Savvy is an ingenious story with a cast of characters (with a capital "c") that is uncannily familiar. Savvy won a well-deserved 2009 Newbery honor.
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crowyhead, August 27, 2008 (view all comments by crowyhead)
This magical children's novel reminded me a bit of Joseph Helgerson's Horns and Wrinkles with a hefty dose of Nina Kiriki Hoffman thrown in.
In Mibs Beaumont's family, thirteenth birthdays tend to be VERY major occasions. That's when every Beaumont receives his or her Savvy, a magical power that he or she must learn to control. Mibs's brother Fish can control the weather (well, sort of -- he has a tendency to cause hurricanes). Grandpa Beaumont causes earthquakes. And Mibs's mother does everything perfectly; she even makes perfect mistakes. So Mibs is looking forward to her birthday with trepidation and excitement, hoping for a humdinger of a Savvy. Her priorities change, however, when her father is seriously injured in a car accident. Now all she wants is a Savvy that will help her family be a family again.
This is a great adventure yarn, as well as a good story about coming of age and learning about oneself. I definitely am looking forward to seeing what Law comes out with next.
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lcreibaum, April 11, 2008 (view all comments by lcreibaum)
I loved this book! It was well written with much better plot and character development than most young adult/juvenile books. I have recommended it to a couple of my adult friends, who also thoroughly enjoyed Savvy.
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Dial Books for Young Readers -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"In 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. 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)." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Law's storytelling is rollicking, her language imaginative, and her entire cast of whacky, yet believable characters delightful...wholly engaging and lots of fun."
by School Library Journal,
"With its delightful premise and lively adventure, this book will please a wide variety of audiences, not just fantasy fans."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"A film is already in development, and if it lives up to this marvel-laden debut, it'll be well worth seeing."
For generations, the Beaumont family has harbored a magical secret. They each possess a savvy — a supernatural power they acquire at 13. On the eve of Mibs's big day, she finds herself on an unforgettable odyssey that will force her to make sense of growing up.
Mary OHara is a sharp and cheeky 12-year-old Dublin schoolgirl who is bravely facing the fact that her beloved Granny is dying. But Granny cant let go of life, and when a mysterious young woman turns up in Marys street with a message for her Granny, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure. The woman is the ghost of Grannys own mother, who has come to help her daughter say good-bye to her loved ones and guide her safely out of this world. She needs the help of Mary and her mother, Scarlett, who embark on a road trip to the past. Four generations of women travel on a midnight car journey. One of them is dead, one of them is dying, one of them is driving, and one of them is just starting out.
This elegantly constructed yet beautifully simple story, set in Ireland and spun with affection by Booker Prizewinner Doyle, will be something different for YA readers. These four lilting voices will linger long after the book is closed.”
Booklist, starred review
"Written mostly in dialogue, at which Doyle excels, and populated with a charming foursome of Irish women, this lovely tale is as much about overcoming the fear of death as it is about death itself."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
"In this moving and artfully structured ghost tale, four generations of Irish women come together. A big part of the pleasure here is the rhythm of the language and the contrasting voices of the generations. Any opportunity to read it aloud would be a treat."
"For children grieving the death of a parent or grandparent, this book provides comfort."
Library Media Connection
Capitol Choices 2013 - Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens
Cooperative Childrens Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2013 list - Young Adult Fiction
USBBY Outstanding International Books List 2013
With echoes of such classic wish-gone-wrong books as Freaky Friday, Half Magic, and Coraline, this terrific novel has the potential to become a middle-grade staple.
Eleven-year-old Ruth Craze is pretty sure she’s stuck in the wrong life. With an absentminded inventor for a father and a flighty artist for a mother, it’s always reliable Ruth who ends up doing the dishes, paying the bills, and finding lost socks. Her brothers are no help (they’re too busy teasing her), and her friends have just decided she’s not cool enough to be a part of their group anymore. So when Rodney the Rat—a slightly sinister stuffed animal that was a gift from her favorite aunt—suggests a way out, Ruth is ready to risk everything. Three wishes. Three chances to create her perfect life. A million ways to get it wrong.
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