I know you're not supposed to, but I'm a huge criminal when it comes to judging books by their covers. So I expected a light-hearted magical journey when I saw this cover with it's swirly and sparkly designs. It ended up being an incredibly heavy story about loss and uncertainty. While not a tear-jerking novel, it might not have been the best choice as a relaxing read during my stressful week (end of grad school semester...yikes).
Savvy is definitely not just another run of the mill, a child gains magical powers and needs to go out and do good in the world after the initial mischief magic phase. Unlike those books, the children in the Beaumont family know that on their 13th birthday, their magical power, or "savvy," will emerge and it takes time to gain control and understand the mysterious savvy. So far in the family, the Grandfather can create land, the Grandmother can trap music in jars for future listening, the Mother does everything perfectly, the oldest brother is electrical, and the next oldest brother can create storms. On the eve of her 13th birthday, Mibs' father, who is not magical, falls into a coma because of a car accident, leaving Mibs praying that her savvy will be something she can use to save her father. Not exactly the fun hijinks a 13 year old would expect to have on his/her birthday, with or without magical powers.
So despite not understanding her new savvy, Mibs, her brothers, and two teens from their congregation, stowaway on a Bible delivery bus driven by a spineless man, in order to get to the hospital miles away and try to save the Beaumont father. A lot of slight catastrophes occur along the way, some funny, some sad, all while Mibs tries to figure out if her new gift of hearing people's thoughts through their tattoos will be able to help her father.
It's an interesting adventure story that's worth reading. I wouldn't give this book to someone who's looking for strictly funny though. This book is more for the thinkers; it's a children's version of a search for meaning in life, just using magic as a means to that question. And despite the cover's semi-girliness, there's enough physical humor to appeal to boy readers, lest they judge the cover the same way I did.