Monday, March 14, 2011

Middle School Book Review: Savvy by Ingrid Law

About The Book: Savvy is a fast paced ride through a modern tall tale where one family passes special powers , a Savvy, down to their progeny. There is no preparing for your inevitable inheritance on your thirteenth birthday and no way to know what your power will be. For Mibbs she finds her Savvy hard to understand which leads her along with some of her siblings on a wild adventure across country.-See full Synopsis here.

One Great Line: "The itch and scritch of birthday buzz was about all I was feeling on the Thursday before the Friday before the Saturday I turned thirteen."

What Others Are Saying:
"Law's storytelling is rollicking, her language imaginative, and her entire cast of whacky, yet believable characters delightful...wholly engaging and lots of fun." --Booklist
"Law displays both a fertile imagination...dab hand for likable, characters...[a] marvel laden debut" -Kirkus

What I Thought: I was repeatedly wowed by her use of words, strange combinations and long sentences that carried a rhythm that periods would have denied. I truly admire Law's story telling ability that reminds me of sitting down listening to my mother read the tales of Brear Rabbit and Paul Bunyan. It is rare to find a book that tickles your tongue as much as your imagination. It was a wild woolly ride.

First Line: "When my brother Fish turned thirteen, we moved to the deepest part of inland because of the hurricane and, of course, the fact that he'd caused it".

Awards: Newberry Honor Book 2010

My rating: ***** Five stars!!

About the Author:

Publisher: Penguin Group

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

"... there have always been stories in my head, and once I found that I could get those stories onto paper, and that my words could be beautiful and fiery and constructive, I knew that I was on the right track and doing something that I love." 

What inspired Savvy?
 "I started with the very first sentence, not even knowing what I was going to write about, simply determined to write the most fun, most off-the-wall sentence I could without thinking too hard about it, and then see where things went from there."

"When I began writing SAVVY, I wanted to create an empowering story about extraordinary kids using my own brand of tall tale, Americana magic…and I didn’t want to use the word magic.

“I use a lot of small towns, and fall back on the tradition of tall tales, stories that are larger than life, with a conquering-the-wilderness idea. It’s an emotional element of becoming a teenager, needing to tame the external and internal.” -Kidsreads, see rest of interview here.
Any challenges?
"Law says she found her writerly voice when, after a decade of ill-fated manuscripts, she decided to ignore her doubts and go where her characters took her: “I decided I would pull out all the stops, not judge what I wrote, and push my voice to the limit." BookPage -See rest of interview here.

Newest Book: Scumble

First Line:  "Mom and Dad had known about the wedding at my uncle Autry's ranch for months. But with the date set a mere ten days after my thirteenth birthday, my family's RSVP had remained solidly unconfirmed until the last possible wait-and-see moment." 

 Observations: I'm always interested in how an author ties in the next book in a series. What I like about Scumble is you don't have to of read Savvy to enjoy Scumble. It can stand alone. New and complicated characters to get to know. 

One Great Line: "My vocal cords stretched and snapped over the words like rubber bands pulled too tight."
Three reasons writers should hate her. *wink, wink*
1. It took her 4 months to write Savvy, by 10 months the fully edited version was complete.
2. She started with one sentence and just let the writing carry her away.
3. Walden Media has already obtained the option for a movie and the screenplay is already in the works. 

I have to say I am really excited to see what Law does next. According to her, the next book is in a completely different direction. If you've read either of these, what did you think?


  1. Pam- This is great! I like the way you talk about the book from so many angles- what you thought, what others think, author interviews, great lines from the book etc. I hope you don't mind if I steal some of your ideas for my blogging HW- you're my blogging guru! Looking forward to Wednesday- Annie

  2. I've had this book sitting on a shelf for ages now! Sounds like such a fun book to read. I don't know what I've been waiting for. Thanks for the review!

  3. Oh, and by that I meant Savvy! I think I had picked it up with a bunch of other books and it got buried. But that second one looks really great, too. Love that title!


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