Scumble

Summary:

Today Ledger Kale turns 13 and begins his savvy journey. Everyone is convinced his savvy will be built on speed. No one expected it would destroy things ... from Dad's watch to a classic motorcycle. If that wasn't bad enough, self-proclaimed reporter Sarah Jane Cabot saw what happened. She stowed herself in the Kale van, en route to a family wedding, and now Ledger is trying to keep her from writing about his family's special skills. Could it get any worse? Yep! His uncle has gone into hock over his ranch and Sarah Jane's father wants to foreclose on it. Now that would be a disaster!


BTSYA / Teen Reader (13):
This is a light and charming read. It mixes nw characters and keeps some of the popular ones from Savvy (Book 1). The setting is well constructed, and the author provides just enough information for context, without overburdening the story with excessive detail. 

The main thing I enjoy is the vibrant and interesting personalities Law brings out in each character. Ledge is realistically rendered, with a conflicting blend of impulsive excitement and thoughtful maturity. As he transforms and grows, so does his independence and responsibility, which creates an inspirational and positive read. However, some of the character interactions, as well as Ledge’s internal thoughts, feel a bit stiff and unnatural. The characters often made irrational decisions that did not fit with their personality, which could create frustration adn confusion for some readers. Also, many of the lines exaggerated a wild-west theme for a humorous effect, but came off as over-the-top and unnecessary.

Although it has some shortcomings, Scumble is a great coming-of-age story, mixed with a perfect dash of Beaumont family magic. This book contains some suggestions of tween romance, but no mature content. It would be best suited to readers aged 9 and older. It is probably better to read the first book before this one because some of the terminology and references may be difficult to understand.


Parent Perspective:
Although I haven't read Savvy (Book 1), I found this an enjoyable, fun read. The author does a great job of giving you enough background information to keep going, without the guilt of having missed the first book. The variety (and outrageous-ness) of some of the savvies make for plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Humor and suspense combine to make readers want to find Sarah Jane as fast as Ledger does. This is a fast, wholesome read.

Content Awareness Factors:

None


Type of Book:
This is the second book in a series that combines family, humor, and individuality.
Educational Themes:

There are wonderful lessons in self-acceptance, family, and problem solving throughout the book.

Reading Level:
5.8
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
8 to 12
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 13
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow at least. This could easily be a book kids come back to when they need a laugh or two.

Title Scumble
About
Author Ingrid Law
Publisher Dial Books © 2010
ISBN 9780803733077
Material Hard Cover
Cost $16.99
Genres Fantasy, Humor
be the star you are
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