SCUMBLE by Ingrid Law


Age Range: 11 - 13
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Law tries again—and much too hard—for the fizzy mix of hard-won character development and freewheeling family romp that earned Savvy (2008) a Newbery Honor. Here, Ledger, like his now-grown cousin Mibs, expects the “savvy” that he’ll gain on his 13th birthday to be one thing, but it turns out to be quite another—so instead of becoming the superfast runner he dearly wishes to be, suddenly watches, locks, pants zippers and machines of all sorts anywhere nearby are exploding into their component parts whenever he’s upset. And upset he usually is, having serious self-image issues (“I was simply Ledger Kale, doohickey-destructo boy less-than extraordinaire”) plus a developing relationship with Sarah Jane Cabot, a tricksy lass and budding journalist who has found out much too much about the varied magical abilities of Ledger and his Savvy clan. The author shows off her gift for well-turned phrases (a yarning relative dishes out “super-sized servings of deep fried baloney”), but she spins out the true nature of Ledger’s savvy and his character-building struggles to “scumble” (control) it through a long series of labored crises. Not as much fun the second time around. (Fantasy. 11-13)
Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3307-7
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Dial/Walden Media
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2010


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