Savvy (novel)

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First edition cover
Author Ingrid Law
Illustrator Elizabeth Parker
Cover artist Hennie Haworth
Country United States of America
Language Louis language
Series none
Subject 13 age savvy
Genre Fiction, Children's literature
Publisher Penguin Group
Publication date
May 1, 2008
Media type Hardback, paperback
Pages 342
ISBN 978-0-14-132419-7
OCLC 222152797
LC Class PZ7.L41836 Sav 2008
Followed by Scumble

Savvy is a 2008 children's fantasy novel by Ingrid Law aimed at children aged nine to twelve years. The American Library Association named Savvy a 2009 Newbery Honor Book.[1]


  • Mississippi "Mibs" - The thirteen-year old main character. Throughout the book, she reminisces about her family and speculates about her own future, as she feels she is on the cusp of growing up. Her savvy is to be able to read the mind of people, when they have ink on their body.
  • Fish - Fourteen years old. He is often hot-tempered, but is generally supportive of Mibs. His savvy is the ability to create storms, but mainly focusing on wind and rain. He gains control of it halfway through the book.
  • Rocket - Seventeen years old. His savvy is to manipulate electricity. He loses confidence at the end of the book after nearly destroying a hospital with his savvy, and moves to his aunt and uncle's house where he will cause less damage.
  • Samson - Seven years old. He likes hiding in dark, quiet places and does not talk much. His touch is noted as having a strengthening effect on people, although it is not clear whether this is his savvy manifesting early or a part of his personality. When he appears, however, everyone around him is stronger.
  • Gypsy - The youngest member of the family at three years old.
  • Jenny "Momma" - The mother of the family. Her savvy is to be perfect in everything she does, including making perfect mistakes.
  • Abram "Poppa" - The father of the family. He has no savvy because he married into the family but at the end of the book Mibs says his savvy is "not giving up on anything or anyone".
  • Grandpa Bomba - Jenny's father. His savvy is the ability to move land, creating earthquakes, creating new lands, separating land, etc. (Reason for living in Kansaska-Nebransas)
  • Grandma Dollop - Jenny's mother. Her savvy is to capture radio, TV waves. She dies before the beginning of the book, but appears in flashbacks.
  • Lester Swan - Driver of the Bible bus. He is very soft-hearted and allows the children to travel on his bus. He has tattoos saying 'Rhonda' and 'Carlene', who are his mother and his former girlfriend who appear in his thoughts constantly sniping at him.
  • Lill Kiteley - A waitress with a talent for being late. She takes care of the children after she is fired, and quickly falls in love with Lester.
  • Roberta "Bobbi" Meeks - Miss Rosemary's sixteen-year-old daughter. She acts very tough, but is secretly quite sentimental. She has an eyebrow piercing and a small tattoo on her lower back. It portrays an angel with a 'devilish' smile and red pointed tail, but in the end, it turns out to be just a temporary tattoo. She is known to have a crush on Rocket.
  • Will Junior - Mrs Rosemary's 14-year-old grandson, who was raised as her son. He likes Mibs as a girlfriend and a friend, and accepts her in spite of her savvy. Will wants to be like his father Bill Meeks.

Other characters;

  • Dinah O'Connell - Momma's sister whose savvy is to make anyone do whatever she wants (smiling at the person and telling them what to do). She does not appear in the book, but she features heavily in the Beaumont's flashbacks/stories.
  • Rosemary Meeks - The preacher's wife. She takes over the Beaumont household after Momma leaves. She is a strict mother, yet she cares for each of her children in her own way. She is said to make meatloaf that has big chunks of onions and dry catsup.

  • Bill Meeks - Mrs. Rosemarys oldest son, who is a state trooper and Will Junior's dad.

  • Ozzie - The boss of Lill and the owner of the Emerald Truck Stop an Diner.
  • Charlene - Lester's boss in the Heartland Bible Supply Company.

Critical reception[edit]

Kirkus Reviews awarded Savvy a starred review, praising Law's "fertile imagination" and "dab hand for likable, colorful characters".[2] Susan Faust of the San Francisco Chronicle called the storytelling "magical" but noted that some of the adventures were improbable.[3] The website Kidsreads called it "fun, hilarious, relatable and enduring".[4]

In addition to the 2009 Newbery Honor,[1] Savvy was named the second runner up in the 2011 Indian Paintbrush Book Award.[5]


The sequel to Savvy, Scumble, was released in August 2010. The plot follows a cousin of Mib's, whose savvy is to break anything. The following is the blurb for Scumble

Ledger Kale always dreamed of the awesome magical power he'd get when he turned thirteen. The day when folks in his family inherit an extraordinary talent called a savvy. But Ledger's dreams are soon in pieces. As well as the toaster, the television, and the wipers on the family minivan. After the Kales decide that it is safe to head to a family wedding in Wyoming, Ledge's savvy grows. Worse, there's an outside witness to his monumental mess: thirteen-year-old Sarah Jane Cabot, eagle-eyed reporter and daughter of the local businessman. Now Ledge has to stop Sarah Jane from turning savvies into headlines, stop her father from getting to close to Uncle Aurtry's astonishing ranch, and scumble his savvy into control before he causes everything to fall apart. This novel starts nine years after his cousin Mib's savvy journey.


  1. ^ a b "2009 Newbery Medal and Honor Books". Association for Library Service to Children. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Savvy by Ingrid Law". Kirkus Reviews. 1 April 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Faust, Susan (28 December 2008). "'Religious Fiction' for kids". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Shanley-Dillman, Chris. "Savvy by Ingrid Law". Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "2011 Indian Paintbrush Awards". Indian Paintbrush Awards. Retrieved 22 May 2011.