Like Savvy, Scumble is memorable for its homegrown sense of fantasy and its fun and unexpected use of language. It’s more of a companion than a sequel, taking place a few years after Savvy and following characters from the same extended family (there’s a family tree so you can keep everyone straight), but fans of Savvy will definitely want to pick this up. The issues are similar – dealing with the startling ways that savvys (a magical type of ability that can be useful, destructive, or a combination) manifest themselves. Family is also important in the stories, and here we get a fun glimpse at more of this wacky group of people.
When I describe the fantasy as ‘homegrown,’ I mean that it feels very American in the way it doesn’t derive from a mythology or use more conventional types of magic. Savvys often seem to be abilities particularly suited to the wide open spaces of the American west, where unnatural storms and earthquakes and the like are less likely to be noticed. There are no wizards or spells or forces of evil to be conquered – what’s more important here is learning to use your own innate skills and talents to the best of your ability. The fact that those skills happen to be highly unusual is just the icing on the cake.
Perfect for anyone who enjoys a good combination of humor and fantasy, probably 4th grade and up, although something tells me that middle school readers might find more to identify with.
Source: my library system
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