Savvy, by Ingrid Law
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers ; Boston, Mass. : Walton Media, c2008.
audio CD: Penguin Audio, 2008
ages 9 - 12
Mibs Beaumont's family is unusual - they each possess a savvy, a special knowing, that they discover on their 13th birthday. And yet, they are completely normal as well. I loved this story, in how it's a fantasy (Mibs ends up hearing tattoos speak to her in her mind, her brother's emotions unleash storms and hurricanes) and yet it seems so real as Mibs struggles with the pain of growing up, struggling to know yourself and being different from your peers.
At the beginning of the book, Mib's father is hit by a car and ends up in a coma. Her mother and eldest brother quickly leave for the hospital, leaving Mibs at home with her grandpa and 3 siblings. Mibs is determined to be with her father - she's sure that she can wake him up from his coma - so she sneaks aboard a bus driven by a travelling Bible salesman. Two of her brothers and two friends join her, and the book follows their journey. Along the way, Mibs discovers her savvy, develops a friendship with a boy, and realizes that bad decisions can have unintended good consequences.
The audio production was mesmerizing. I'd highly recommend it. Here's the link to Amazon for the audio CD. Berkeley Public Library and Oakland Public Library have the print book.