reviewed here. I was thrilled to see Scumble next to it.
Sadly, I cannot say I feel as strongly about Scumble as I did about Savvy! It was a good read, but when held up against the previous book, this book fell short. The writing wasn't as magical. I didn't feel an urge to write passages down. The characters seemed harder to keep track of. The pacing wasn't as perfect. I loved Savvy! I liked Scumble a lot.
As in the first novel, the main character, Ledger Kale, is approaching his thirteenth birthday, when he will discover his own endowed savvy (special talent or ability with a magical charm to it). He is hoping he will be able to run like the wind because his father wants to win a father-son marathon. But, like in the other book, savvies aren't predictable and often aren't welcome. Ledger discovers that his savvy involves destruction. And when a nosy, innocent bystander, Sarah Jane Cabot (who calls herself a reporter) observes his destruction first-hand, Ledger is scrambling to discern how much she knows and how best to keep his savvy a secret and under control.
The title of the book comes from a painting term where bright colors are muted or "scumbled" to balance out the whole of the picture. So, Ledger Kale is learning to scumble his savvy before his destruction leaves a heap of people in a mess of trouble. His other cousins, Rocket (who has an electrical savvy) and Sampson (who has an invisible savvy) are also trying to learn to scumble.
I appreciated the subtle lessons of being yourself and finding your own dreams. The characters were lively and wholesome. I was surprised that the author was able to turn the talent of destruction into a positive attribute (my boys have this savvy already and it is a bit hard to see the positives, although Trevor does have an artistic mind that takes things apart and reorders them to make something beautiful).
The story was a rollicking ride. Since the main character is a boy, I'll be interested to see whether my boys prefer the first or second book. It must be very hard to follow up a fantastic debut novel. Still, I would give a third book along these lines a shot. There's something magical about believing in the gift of a special talent and every child will take something positive away from these books.