Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Scumble by Ingrid Law

This is the second in the series that started with the Newbery Honor book, Savvy.  I liked Savvy and even read it aloud to my family.  This book was different, but I liked it as well.  Ledger Kale is a cousin to the savvy characters in the first book.  The story starts on his 13th birthday when he receives his special ability, his savvy, which seems to be the power to destroy things made out of metal.  At first his savvy is uncontrollable and he causes a lot of damage, so his parents leave him at his uncle's farm to give him time to learn to control, or scumble, his talent. While there he meets the daughter of the local financial czar and together they get into a great deal of trouble.  During the summer Ledge learns to control not only his savvy, but also his fear and anger, and saves the family farm in the process. At first Ledger's "voice" was a little distracting.  The author has him use a lot of quaint similes and metaphors  and they sounded a little too contrived to me.  As the story went on I got used to them, and I ended up liking the main character pretty much.  His frustration as he tries to learn to control himself is something I think all kids and even adults go through at some time in their lives, but of course, on a less spectacular level.  Law surrounds Ledge with enough interesting characters, and puts him through enough funny high jinx that a reader might not even realize they have learned a lesson about self control.(400 p.)

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