Dial Books for Young Readers (2008)
Reviewed by Casey Holt (age 14) for Reader Views (4/08)
“Savvy” is about a family, and they all have, or will have, “savvies.” A savvy is a special kind of know-how. Mibs is just about to turn thirteen, which is when her savvy should kick in. But two days before her birthday, her poppa gets into a terrible car crash. All her dreams of having a perfect (because that’s her momma’s savvy; everything she does is perfect) cake with sugar roses and pink and yellow frosting are crushed. Her brother Rocket gets to go to the hospital with their momma, because he’s the only one who can make the old car run. (His savvy is electricity.) Mibs (12), Fish (14), Samson (7), and Gypsy (3) are left home with their old Grandpa.
Miss Rosemary, the pastor’s wife, decides to move herself in, bringing her children, Will Junior and Roberta, who everyone but her mother calls Bobbi. Then Miss Rosemary announces that a “little bird” told her that it was somebody’s birthday tomorrow, and that she was getting together a huge party for Mibs at the church. Fish immediately starts freaking out, telling Mibs how she knows as well as he does that 13th birthdays in the Beaumont family HAVE to be kept quiet (still remembering his own 13th birthday hurricane that he created). But they cannot sway Miss Rosemary, so the next day they’re all herded to the church to celebrate Mib’s birthday. When Mibs finds out her savvy, or thinks she found it out, she just knows that she HAS to get to Salina, where her poppa was in the hospital and wouldn’t wake up. So she hops on a Bible delivery truck that says Salina on the side, thinking that must be where it’s headed. But when the bus takes a right-turn when it’s supposed to be left, and goes north when it’s supposed to go south, they know that they are NOT headed for Salina.
This book was pretty good, I would recommend it for younger children; I thought that “Savvy” was for teens, but I would say maybe 7-10 year-olds would enjoy this book more than I did. It seems like it would be a good read-aloud.