|Scumble, book #2, by Ingrid Law|
Written by Ingrid Law
Cover art by Brandon Dorman
Dial BooksFYR, Penguin Group, 2010
Ages 8-12, Lexile 900
412 pages, 66,300 words
Magical Realism, Coming of Age
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.
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.
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