Friday, September 3, 2010
Scumble by Ingrid Law
To say that Ledge's family is different would be an understatement. Once every child hits their thirteenth birthday, they don't just join the ranks of the pubescent adolescence they also develop their savvy. A savvy is a secret magical ability, it can range from controlling minds to being invisible, and Ledge has just gotten his. This isn't a seemingly cool ability like his mom's ability to control people's actions with a smile and comment or the much hoped for ability like running at incredible speeds, no this savvy seems to be literally destructive. As Ledge scrambles to scumble his savvy, try and break out from under his mother's controlling thumb, readjust his father's hopes and dreams for Ledge's running future, he breaks the family's cardinal rule and reveals the family's abilities to nosy thirteen year old Sarah Jane aka SJ Cabot; the same SJ whose father is trying to take over the family's safe haven. Now Ledge is trying to not only control his destructive powers but also try and figure out SJ and have her help him stop her dad. Turning thirteen just got a little more complicated.
So this one is a standalone, even though it takes place in the same universe as Savvy which was a Newbery Honor back in 2009. This book was hilarious, in turns old westerny and contemporary teen book. Ledger and most of his family were so relatable, engaging, and quirky. They had depth, and were just flawed enough to be human, even with the weird idiosyncrasies and magic powers. I think the only critique would be against Ledger's mom and SJ. They were both a little grating and, dare I say it after just applauding her character development, one-dimensional. I think with all the other fascinating characters, like Ledger's little sister's habit of shouting out safety tips to anyone who will listen, these two just didn't cut it for me. The plot was fast-paced and just so great! I was literally chuckling out loud and then reading it to my friend because I had to share my delight. Get it, read it, done deal. Scumble is already out.