Reading Level: Middle Grade
Genre: Magical Realism
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Puffin Books
Release Date: March 23, 2010
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Saavy series
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
“For generations, the Beaumont family has harbored a magical secret. They each possess a “savvy” -a special supernatural power that strikes when they turn thirteen. Grandpa Bomba moves mountains, her older brothers create hurricanes and spark electricity . . . and now it’s the eve of Mibs’s big day.
As if waiting weren’t hard enough, the family gets scary news two days before Mibs’s birthday: Poppa has been in a terrible accident. Mibs develops the singular mission to get to the hospital and prove that her new power can save her dad. So she sneaks onto a salesman’s bus . . . only to find the bus heading in the opposite direction.
Suddenly Mibs finds herself on an unforgettable odyssey that will force her to make sense of growing up-and of other people, who might also have a few secrets hidden just beneath the skin.”
I have had this book on my “to be read” pile for quite a while and I was excited to finally get the chance to read it. This is a well done middle grade fantasy book with a heavy dose of magical realism. It was well written and engaging and I enjoyed it.
I loved the family dynamics in this book and the magical ability of the Beaumont family and their Savvy powers. It was interesting to see how their Savvies affected their lives and how they interacted with other kids and people.
There is a lot in this book about being on that cusp between kid and teenager. Mib is just turning thirteen and struggling with the things she loves and thinking they are too childish. In addition to the normal aches and pains of entering her teenage years she also has to deal with getting a sort of magical power.
This is one of those middle grade books that I think adults will enjoy a lot because it deals with issues of family and relationships and dreams. However I am honestly not sure how much middle grade kids will enjoy it. I started reading it with my nine year old son and he thought it was “boring”. So this might be one of those middle grade books that adults enjoy more than kids. Or maybe it is just more well suited for older middle grade kids; kids going into their teens.
Overall the story was very engaging and a fast read. I ended up enjoying it a lot and was really sucked into the story and characters. I will probably check out the next two books in the series at some point. I would recommend to those who enjoy middle grade books with a heavy dose of magical realism that deal with family and coming-of-age.