After kicking myself making the mistake of missing out on Savvy for TWO WHOLE YEARS, I decided to save myself from the self-inflicted bruising and read Scumble¹ early.
Nine years after the savvy adventures of Mibs Beaumont, it is Ledger Kale's turn. His thirteenth birthday is fast approaching, and, as should be expected, the unexpected happens. Rather than the super-speed that his father's been hoping—almost campaigning—for, Ledge is stuck with the ability to make man-made things fall apart.
Which seems like a real stinker of a savvy.
And which makes the family drive out to a family wedding in Wyoming rather difficult.
As if the disappointment, embarrassment and frustration wasn't enough, a budding reporter from a decidedly un-savvy background—who runs her own independent Newspaper of the Weird—witnesses an epic display of Ledge's power.
Unlike the cover art of Savvy, I took to this cover art right away—because, for one, it matched Savvy, and for two, I trusted that it would reflect the storyline. (Which it did.) And the swirly-ness of it didn't even make my eyes spin this time! Maybe I'm mellowing.
In brief? This is, and will be, a great story for booktalking, reading aloud, and just general recommending. Like Savvy, it's got colorful characters, an engaging plotline, and despite some hurdles to be overcome, fears to be faced, and tears to be shed², it's a pretty gentle adventure. Though there is someone trying to Do Bad Things, he's doing it out of fear and grief, not out of evil or even plain meanness. So, yes, in brief, thumbs up.
In comparison to Savvy, though—well, Scumble fell a bit short. For me, Savvy was especially special because of Mibs' voice. The way she used words, her rhythm—that just made the book a stand-out. As did the Wizard of Oz parallels. Ledger, while a totally likable guy, had a much more straightforward way of storytelling. And, like his voice, his story was also more straightforward. A bit easier to swallow than Mibs' tall tale, maybe, but for me, less magical.
Regardless of that, it's a strong book, well written, and an enjoyable follow-up to Savvy. It A) will be popular and B) deserves to be.
¹Is that not, like, the best word? I just like saying it. Scumble scumble scumble.
²I tried to work a pile of clichés in there. I did pretty well, I think. Also, yes, it made me cry.
Book source: Review copy from the publisher.
Amazon Associate. If you click through and buy something, I receive a small commission.