Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Special Know-How

Being fairly new to this kid-lit biz, I have a lot of catch-up reading to do. (Thank you, I shall now accept the prize for silliest understatement.) In terms of the coolest/hottest middle-grade novels, I'm a few years behind. So pardon me for being late to the Savvy party.

Ingrid Law's Newbery Honor book has magic, realism, wit, pathos, excitement, and truth, and requires at least three Kleenexes to get through. (Re-mopping my bleary eyes was as necessary as windshield wipers on a rainy day.) "Savvy" is the term for a supernatural power each member of this special family discovers in him/herself at age thirteen. But, as the main character figures out, it is also a metaphor for the unique, innate talents in each of us. A mark of a great book of speculative fiction is the way the apparent magic is really an analysis of ordinary human behavior.

If you have middle-schoolers in your life, or love a good kids' novel, be sure to get yourself some Savvy. Now I look forward to the recent sequel, Scumble.

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