In this second sequel to the Newbery Honor–winning Savvy (2008), the Beaumont family’s unusual abilities turn inside out. Steep learning curves and near catastrophes ensue.
Just as the Beaumonts decide to take in ill-tempered Grandma Pat, who is showing worrisome signs of “Old-Timer’s disease” (i.e., Alzheimer’s), 13-year-old Gypsy’s new “savvy” to glimpse (but not alter, despite her best efforts) future scenes switches to an ability to stop time—for all the universe except, as it turns out, Pat and everyone else who shares her birthday. Likewise, her formerly perfect mother turns accident-prone, her once-invisible big brother now unpredictably bursts into all-too-visible flame, and little Tucker farts and turns into a giant when upset. Nonetheless, the Beaumonts hie off to Colorado to pick up Grandma Pat and then chase her through Denver when she wanders out into a snowstorm. Law does not write for readers who like logically consistent premises and orderly plots. Nevertheless, along with turning her increasingly self-confident protagonist’s fondness for spontaneous twirling into a thematic leitmotif, she salts the narrative with wonderfully silly words (“Sardoodledom”!) and the cast with (aside from a now-requisite bully) helpful, warmhearted allies.
It’s a jumble, but one that’s made up of feel-good set pieces. (Fantasy. 10-12)