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 English
Series Savvy
Subject Kid's fiction coming-of-age tale
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" Beaumont- The thirteen-year-old main protagonist. 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,such as tattoos.
  • Fish Beaumont- 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, or "scumbles", his savvy halfway through the book,plus Fish is Mibs big brother.
  • Rocket Beaumont- Seventeen years old. His savvy is to manipulate electricity.He is Mibs oldest brother. 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 Beaumont- 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. In the sequel, his savvy is to disappear and reappear at will.
  • Gypsy Beaumont- The youngest member of the family at three years old.
  • Jenny "Momma" Beaumont (maiden name O'Connell)- The mother of the family. Her savvy is to be perfect in everything she does, including making perfect mistakes.
  • Abram "Poppa" Beaumont- The father of the family, who was hospitalized after being in a 10-car pile-up car crash. 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". He has a tattoo of a mermaid from when he was in the army. Supposedly the males in his family all lose their hair before the age of 30.
  • Grandpa Bomba O'Connell- 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, a piece of land created by him reserved for the Beaumonts)
  • Grandma Dollop O'Conell (maiden name Payne)- Jenny's mother. Her savvy is to capture radio 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 BUT SHE DOES NOT HAVE A SAVVY.
  • Roberta "Bobbi" Meeks - Miss Rosemary's 16-year-old daughter. She acts very tough, but is secretly quite sentimental. She has an eyebrow piercing and a small press on temporary tattoo on her back that portrays an angel with vague demonic features. She has a crush on Rocket.
  • Will Meeks, Jr.- 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.
  • Dinah Kale- 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. She is the mother of Ledger Kale in the sequel.
  • Rosemary Meeks - The preacher's wife. She takes over the Beaumont household after Momma and Rocket leave. 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 ketchup.
  • Bill Meeks, Sr. - Mrs. Rosemary's oldest son, who is a state trooper and Will Junior's father.
  • Ozzie "The Great and Powerful"- The boss of Lill and the owner of the Emerald Truck Stop and Diner.
  • Carlene - Lester's former girlfriend and boss of the Heartland Bible Supply Company. Near the end of the book she is presumably arrested.

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, and also takes place nine years afterward. 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" (PDF). Indian Paintbrush Awards. Retrieved 22 May 2011.