26 November 2008

Savvy; Ingrid Law

Savvy Savvy by Ingrid Law

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is one of the Potential Newbery Books that I'm reading and, well, as with The Wednesday Wars last year, I'm not seeing what others are.

To start with, I'm automatically prejudiced against any book that takes a perfectly good word and changes the meaning. In this case, it's savvy. "Savvy" actually comes from saber, the Spanish for "to know". But not in this book. Here it's akin to "special power/ability". Why Law couldn't have made up a new word, I don't know. She does when she talks about the ability to control or hide your "savvy", scumbling.

The rest of the plot was fine, albeit predictable. The characters didn't stand out in my mind as ones I'll remember years from now, which is too bad because with a little tweaking, I think I could have done.

So why is this one of the books that "everyone" says will get either the Newbery or an Honor listing? Possibly because it's one of the better books this year. Possibly because it does have a charm to it that I'm sure that the target age group (up to age 14) can see more clearly than this reader did.

View all my reviews.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I just came across your review of Savvy. Thanks for taking the time to read and review it!

    I just thought I'd chime in for fun to share the reasoning behind my word choices in Savvy as they were very specific.

    When I began writing Savvy I wanted to write a book about magical children that never used the word "magic." I did this in the hopes that everyone could come away from the story with the feeling that they could find their very own "extra-special know-how." In my research of the word, I discovered that it originated as an American slang word and actually started out as a noun. So I thought it was quite fun to turn it back into a noun after a hundred years of "savvy" being used as an adjective.

    I use a lot of crazy words throughout the book, many of which seem made up, but most of which are not. "Scumble" is a real word as well. It is a painting term and is defined as such by the Momma in the story.

    So I enjoyed taking real words and twisting them to give them bigger meaning. Just as I took ordinary kids with ordinary problems and gave them a powerful twist as well.

    Thanks again for your review. I know that not every book is for every reader, but I appreciate that you took the time to read it.

    All my best,


    Ingrid Law