Monday, October 10, 2016

MMGM: Scumble

Today's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday pick

Scumble, book #2, by Ingrid Law
Scumble


Written by Ingrid Law
Cover art by Brandon Dorman
Dial BooksFYR, Penguin Group, 2010
Ages 8-12, Lexile 900
412 pages, 66,300 words


Themes:
Magical Realism, Coming of Age


Opening:
       Mom and Dad had known about the wedding at my Uncle Autry's ranch for months. But with the date set a mere ten days after my thirteenth birthday, my family's RSVP had remained solidly unconfirmed until the last possible wait-and-see moment. We had to wait until my birthday came and went. We had to see if anything exploded, caught fire, or flooded before committing to a long-haul trip across four states in the minivan. In my family, thirteenth birthdays were like time bombs, with no burning fuse or beeping countdown to tell you when to plug your ears, duck, brace yourself, or turn tail and get the  hay bales out of Dodge.
       I'd known for years that something in my blood and guts and brains and bones was poised to turn me tall-tale gollywhopper weird. On my thirteenth birthday, a mysterious ancestral force would hit like lightning, giving me my very own off-the-wall talent. My very own savvy. Making me just like the rest of the spectacular square pegs I was related to.


Thoughts:
Okay, I admit Scumble was originally a bit of a let down for me. It's hard being the second child. But  when I read the third book in the series a few months ago, it gave me a yen to reread. This one definitely improves with age and deserves a bit more love and attention than it's gotten.

I never felt Ledge's voice was as strong as his cousin's, but on second look, he is well-written and genuine. Ledge gets stuck in a tough situation when he reveals his family's powers to an outsider. This situation and his reactions are what give authenticity to this book. Ledge has a savvy after my own heart, and his yearning to fit in strikes a chord. On first read, I forgot about my inner middle grader. Thank goodness authors like Ingrid Law help us to remember what it felt like and put us back in touch with the isolated, awkward, uncertain kid within.


Bonus: 
 1. If you are new to the series, the other MMGMers have posted some reviews to whet your appetite.
VB wrote a review of Savvy, and Suzanne gives her first and second impressions, linked to some personal reflections.
Pam posted a review of both Savvy and Scumble plus and interview with the author.
Joanne, Violet, and Sonora review the third book, Switch.



2. Looking for more great reads?
Aeicha  recommends Waiting for Augusta.
Jemi recommends Maniac Magee.
Michael recommends A Million Ways Home.
Mundie Moms recommend Pete's Dragon, The Lost Years.
Shannon recommends Artemis Fowl
And Ruth recommends the series as one of her top ten beach reads for Middle Schoolers.



If you want to join MMGM, blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday. You can post a straight review or contests, author interviews, etc. Then email Shannon Messenger at SWMessenger@hotmail.com

Put "MMGM" or "Marvelous Middle Grade Monday" in the subject line, include the title of the book you're featuring, and a link to your blog. Email your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.

For additional details, see Shannon's website.


Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Monday, October 10, 2016 available on Shannon Messenger's blog

18 comments:

  1. Love magical realism! Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts and observations.

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    1. Thanks. What are your favorites in the genre?

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  2. This has always been on my reading list for a while, but I've never gotten to it, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. I would definitely start with the first one. I think I was initially disappointed in Scumble because Savvy was so good. Thanks.

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  3. Savvy is still and always will be my favorite of the three. But I've read and enjoyed them all and I love how they work together.

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    1. Oh, and thanks for the shout-out for my review of SWITCH!

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    2. No problem. I enjoy reading your blog and am happy to have found the tribe of MMGMers. I can't wait for more of Ingrid's books. Thanks.

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  4. I'm probably one of the only ones left who hasn't even read this series, not even Savvy. Thank you for your thoughtful review. I will definitely be checking this out after I tackle Savvy.

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    1. I think you'll love Ingrid's startlingly lyrical and playful language. Enjoy!

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  5. I only started reading magical realism about 18 months ago, and I love it. I have not read this series either. But the writing and narrative is what really caught my attention. It sounds like a very humorous story. Thanks for reminding me.

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    1. I think you'll have to like magical realism to enjoy this, but the emotional drama is genuine and the language is so well-crafted. Thanks.

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  6. I hadn't heard of this series. Thanks for such a thoughtful review. I will check these out.

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    1. Thanks, Rosi. I think the first one , at least, is not to be missed.

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  7. Replies
    1. Have you read Switch? It takes a different direction, but adds some great new characters.

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  8. This showed up on the Battle of the Books list. I had some readers very excited when I got the last one in the series.

    Have you nominated for the Cybils award? Only two days left! http://www.cybils.com/2016/10/and-go-cybils-nominations-are-open.html

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    1. I love this series, but I hope the author writes some other books too. I love her style. Thanks.

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  9. This showed up on the Battle of the Books list. I had some readers very excited when I got the last one in the series.

    Have you nominated for the Cybils award? Only two days left! http://www.cybils.com/2016/10/and-go-cybils-nominations-are-open.html

    ReplyDelete

Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!