by Ingrid Law
Savvy could be described as a coming-of-age story. It is also a fun supernatural fantasy geared for the slightly-younger set. But mostly it is a sweet story about family, trust, love, looking beneath the surface, growing up, and finding who you are and what you're good at.
It's not complicated or terribly action-packed, but the characters are so endearing and the narrative so richly detailed that it's really quite a treasure.
Ingrid Law uses LOTS of metaphors and similes through the text, and they just fit! I kept thinking this book would be great to use while trying to teach students to use these narrative tools in a way that is effective. The main character, Mississippi (Mibs) Beaumont (also our narrator) has such a innocent and charming way of telling her story, that you find yourself drawn into this story from the very first page.
You see, Mibs' family is pretty special: on their 13th birthdays the new teenagers develop a special talent called their "savvy". Mibs' eldest brother Rocket can control electricity. Her other older brother Fish can create storms. Mibs' birthday is just three days again and she's hoping for a savvy that can help her save her Poppa, who's very sick in the hospital. When she thinks she may have gotten just what she wished for, Mibs and 2 of her brothers and the pastor's kids stowaway on a Bible delivery bus in hopes of getting to Salina in time. However, when the bus turns north instead of south is when the group's real adventure starts.
*Spoiler* I'm giving this book 4 stars simply because I have mixed feelings about the kids not calling their parents to tell them where they are, and also deceiving the adults who are helping them. I understand the reasoning for it in the story, but if I were to read this book to a class, I would feel it necessary to discuss why this is not a smart choice made by the kids. Unfortunately, at the end the kids don't feel much remorse for making their parents worry for so long while they were missing.