Mississippi Beaumont, aka Mibs, is just your average girl eagerly awaiting her 13th birthday. This milestone however holds more than just the promise of crossing into the long awaited teen years, presents or a cake. For the Beaumonts, life gets just a bit more interesting during these celebrations as they are granted a very special gift. The discovery of their savvy! Whoa! That was earth shaking, right? (Well, it would be if you knew what a savvy was...but of course you would have had to have read the book and may not be reading my review so let me explain...) A savvy is like a special talent, something that they each are especially good at. The boys tend to get loud and powerful ones like (go figure), while the girls are dealt quieter though still formidable ones. Everyone in their family has one, except poor Poppa...or does he? Just in time for Mibs' 13th birthday, Poppa is in an accident that lands him in the hospital. Broken but not defeated, he clings to life trying to return to his family, whilst Momma and Rocket (Mibs brother) keep a constant vigil.
At first, Mibs responds as a typical teenager. Her "why me" can be heard round the world in the hearts of all those that went before her. This was to be her special day. She has no idea what her savvy is going to be nor how to control it and her parents are cities away both in delicate conditions. What's a girl to do? Birthday morning arrives, and strange things start to occur...Samson's (her younger brother) turtle seems to wake from a long, long, long, long, nap.....her little sister Gypsy sound asleep to the world, awakens at her first footfalls upon the floor.... All of these lead Mibs to believe her savvy is to "awaken" things, and so she makes up her mind that she must go to the hospital to wake up Poppa.
With the help of her brothers Fish (controls weather!)and Samson, Bobbi and Will Jr (preachers children), Lester (pink Bible salesman) and Lill ("earthly angel"), this group of misfits make their way towards the hospital in Salina with more than a few adventures along the way...including one most vital. Mibs savvy is not what she first thought it to be! Here "talent" is reading peoples hearts and minds through ink on their skin. Sound confusing? Let's just say she gets to hear the third degree from an angel with a devils tail and two loud and mouthy women on Lester's back...err, arms; as well as almost overhearing a secret that Will Jr is hiding from the world (one of which is not the fact that he LIKE likes her...that's obvious!). Will they make it in time to save Poppa? Will Mibs savvy still be enough to draw him back to the land of the living?Sorry! I can't tell you! You have to read it to find out! =0P
I know, I spoiled it for you....just as I was getting to the good stuff, I copped out. Well, it is what it is and that's all that it is. No, seriously....do you ever find it harder to review books that you really enjoyed? I mean not just liked sort of, kind of, or maybe. I mean a book that you needed to finish in order to feel closure (okay, stop looking at me that way...you know what I mean!)... It seems like the more I like a book that harder it is to summarize because every detail seems to be important versus just the highlights. That's what I ran into here.
Author Ingrid Law creates a rich world through her characters and their development throughout the story makes it that much more interesting. Home is set up as their own little slice of heaven set right between Kansas and Nebraska, thus they end up calling it Kansaska for part of the week and Nebransas the other, that grows with Grandpa's moods is set apart from others to allow their savvy's room for development. Once they learn to scumble (control) them, life is somewhat easier, but still the distance provides for less stressful situations (such as a hurricane upon the arrival of the savvy belonging to Fish).
In the end, Savvy manages to tell an entertaining story, while dealing with common issues seen by real kids and teenagers today. Coming of age, more responsibility, making decisions on their own, consequences of those decisions, the possibility of loss, first loves, new friends, and family bonds....all of these and more come through loud and clear...and you won't have to draw a smiley face on the book for the message to be heard! Is it any wonder it was selected as a Newbery Honor book? It would be wonderful at times to have a savvy like Mibs, but quite honestly, do you always want to know what people are thinking? Okay, so right now I do! I want to know if you've read this book, if you were planning to, or just what you think of it! What would you choose as your savvy?
Feel free to leave your comments and feedback!
Until next time....happy reading!