Friday, July 15, 2011


In the movie Legend the faerie Oona asks the hero, Jack, "Am I not sweet?" He answers her, "Sweeter than bee pollen on a summer wind," which is kind of how I feel about Ingrid Law's Savvy.

Savvy is wonderful and wonderfully understated. Mostly thirteen-year-old Mibs Beaumont has a magic inside her, just like the rest of her family, and I don't just mean the calm, lying in the sweet grass kind of cadence to her first person narration throughout the book. Law masterfully blends the absolute certainty and passion of childhood faith with a sort of Judy Blume-esque lesson about becoming a member of the adult world, and then she wraps it all up together with a simple, deep-roots-strong language.

What kind of savvy--her magical gift--will Mibs have after she blows out her thirteen birthday candles? Will it be strong enough to right the sudden, frightening wrongs in her life, or will it be so powerful it only complicates them?

I won't answer those questions for you, but I will tell you, the answers Mibs finds are colorful and perfectly-fitted to the rest of the story and its inhabitants.

Buy the book, and then come back here so we can talk about all the subtle, crafty things that makes it so great. Go ahead; I'll wait.  And come to think of it, pick up the second book, Scumble, which my partner Michelle had the good taste to review a while back. I probably wouldn't have picked up Savvy without it, which would have been a shame.

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