Savvy by Ingrid Law (NY: Scholastic, 2008).
In this Newbery Honor book, Mississippi Beaumont--nicknamed Mibs--discovers she has a secret talent--her savvy--on her 13th birthday. This has happened to everyone in her family--it's in her genes. She knows her life will change once she has her talent, but she doesn't know what it will be. Her mother's talent is doing everything perfectly. Her grandmother used to jar music; her grandfather can move mountains. One of her brothers (mis)manages electricity, and the other's moods influence the weather--usually in dangerous ways! Her family had to move away from any body of water when that happened, since water seemed to trigger treacherous climactic developments. Learning to master one's savvy--rather than it mastering you--was something that took time, so Mibs knew she'd have to stay home from school, like her brothers, once her savvy took hold. And she could hardly wait!
Only Mibs's poppa doesn't have a savvy. If he had, maybe he wouldn't have gotten into the horrible car accident. Now, just two days before Mibs's birthday, Mibs's mother and electrical brother are traveling to the city to be at poppa's side.
Early on her birthday, Mibs becomes convinced that she can influence people's actions--that is her savvy she believes. This means she has to get to poppa and make him wake up. First, though, she has to get through the birthday party the well-meaning pastor's wife has decided will cheer her up while her mother and father are gone. Instead, the advent of Mibs's true savvy unleashes a wacky chain of events involving a wild journey on a traveling bible salesman's bus with a bit of romance thrown in.
This is one ride you won't want to miss! Law's whimsical language and spellbinding storytelling will engage readers aged 8 & up.
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