Savvy by Ingrid Law

August 13, 2008 at 11:25 pm (Book Review) (, , , , , , )

Savvy by Ingrid Law

ISBN: 978-0-2037-3306-0

As if being a teenager and dealing with all the complications of adolescence and puberty weren’t bad enough, this family has another reason to anticipate and fear the onset of the teen years in their children. On the thirteenth birthday, something remarkable happens. Their “savvy” or special talent, wakes up and as the back cover says

“What if your grandpa moves mountains, one of your brothers causes hurricanes, another creates electricity, and now it’s your turn?”

Mibs Beaumont is waiting eagerly for her 13th birthday and the chance to find out what her savvy will be, however everything changed with the ringing of the phone. Her father is in trouble, and she has to face the onset of her savvy without the guidance of her parents. Determined to help her father, she sets out to find him by any means necessary, which results in a heap of trouble for her, her brothers, and some new friends they meet along the way.

I must say I really enjoyed reading Savvy. I think that this is just a great time for young adult fiction – so many great works coming out these days. This story of a young girl coming of age is so different from what is often found on the book shelves. Instead of concerns over the mall and television, you have a character with depth and determination. When I was middle school aged, there was so little out there for me to read or identify with that it was hard to get engaged in books meant for adolescent girls. I was reading my father’s science fiction and fantasy because it was far more interesting to me than what was offered in my age level, though often what I read was probably not age appropriate.

Though I wasn’t necessarily concerned about strange powers awakening, I think any teen can identify with the idea of being a bit different and standing out, and the process of coming to terms with it. Unlike so many other stories, Mibs doesn’t give in to other people’s expectations in order to find happiness, but becomes more comfortable in her own skin.

I am glad to have gotten the opportunity to read this book, and will be using it in my classroom. I work with middle school students and I really think they will enjoy this book as much as I did.

Thanks Ingrid, for making sure I got a copy of the book!

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Early Reviews

July 2, 2008 at 10:58 pm (Book Review) (, , )

On Librarything, they have a group you can join where you have access to books, often before publishing, that you can review if chosen.  After months of trying, I finally was chosen in a March bonus batch and had the great fortune to get to review Salmon Rushdie’s Enchantress of Florence.  Here is what I posted in Librarything about it.

“The first thing that struck me about this novel was the lyrical way that Rushdie uses words to create far more than an engaging plot.  His use of colorful phrases and playful, grandiose dialog illustrates the characters in the novel far better than a narrator’s mere description of them.  Sometimes I lost track of the plot somewhat – not because it was unclear – but due to my rapture over Rushdie’s phrasings.  I found myself stopping frequently to share passages with my loved ones.

I am normally the type of person who tears through a novel the first time.  I want to know the who, what, when, where and why’s of it all before reading it through a second time to enjoy the subtleties.  With Enchantress of Florence I found myself reading it at a more leisurely pace, savoring it like a full bodied wine or rich dark chocolate.  This is definitely a book that I will read again.

I have spoken much about the writing, and have neglected the plot.  Many novels have extremely predictable endings, but the ending of this work of art will likely catch you by surprise.  The Enchantress of Florence is about a young man making his way in the world to claim his birthright.  He has a tale so wrought with twists and turns of history, whimsy, magic, deception, and love that he dares only tell one man, Akbar – emperor of Hindustan.  Through the many turns of deception, it is no surprise that every character ends up the victim of this web of lies.”

The wording was definitely what struck me the most on this work.  This was the first book of his that I have had the pleasure to read, and I will definitely be looking to read more of his work in the future.  I had heard of him – who hasn’t really?  But I had never thought to pick up one of his books until I saw the description for this one.  It is currently on my reread list so that I can see what more I can glean from a second reading.

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