Savvy by Ingrid Law. Cover Illustration by Terese Dikun. Dial Books, 2008. Ages 12 and up. Savvy is a story about an unusual family, the Beaumonts, whose family members awaken powers – coined savvy – at the age of 13. The Baumont’s sons, for example, can cause hurricanes and sparks with their savvies. The novel begins with Mibs, the youngest of the Beaumont clan, as she nears the eve of her 13th birthday and is excited to discover what her savvy would be.
However, tragedy strikes a mere two days before her 13th birthday as Poppa, the Beaumont patriarch, figures in a terrible accident 90 miles away from home. What ensues is an extraordinary adventure fueled by Mibs’ unwavering belief that her savvy would be able to save Poppa. Riding a pink rickety bus and accompanied by her two brothers and the preacher’s kids, Mibs embarks on a journey to awaken her savvy and prove she can save the day. Ultimately, Savvy is a story about growing up and coming to know and accept oneself and others.
It teaches about learning and seeing beyond appearances and appreciating what is skin deep. Savvy is a wondrous tale of hope, love, and redemption. The novel bridges the idea that each and every individual is very special, with unique gifts that make that person unique. Ingrid Law craftily manages to incorporate all of these into a concise yet elegantly written novel while still making the story and the characterization a priority, resulting in a book that leaves the reader filled with all sorts of wonderful emotions even after turning over that last page.
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