Imagine that on your 13th birthday, you would receive a power -- a savvy -- something amazing and wonderful. This power might give you the ability to become invisible at will, or speak to insects. It could be the power to grow trees from anything, or to move the earth with just your thoughts. Or possibly, it could be the power to destroy everything around you.
On the eve of Ledger Kale’s 13th birthday, he is earnestly hoping for a savvy that would please his father. He is hoping for the power to run faster and longer than anyone else. But what happens the next day is like nothing they ever expected.
Through the book, Ledger learns that our gifts can be terribly destructive, or incredibly constructive. We just have to learn to scumble. Scumble is an art term that refers to the act of toning down an intense color in order to bring the picture into balance. As Ledger learns to scumble his savvy, his life, which was out of balance, becomes balanced once again.
Of course, there is more to the story than this - missing gold, an evil banker determined to foreclose on everyone in town, and the town girl with a secret power of her own.
I must confess, it took me a long time to get into this book. The beginning confused me -- probably because it is a companion book to Savvy, a book I haven’t read. The characters were running together, the terms savvy and scumble were a mystery, and I really couldn’t see where the story was going. But I stuck with it, and I’m glad I did. I think there are some great themes in this book. One theme is that we have to be true to ourselves, even if we aren’t exactly what other people want us to be. One quote that I love was spoken to a character whose savvy allows him to become invisible. But he was then never visible. His brother said, “It can take a lot of strength to show up and be yourself….don’t you think?” (pg 240). I think that is true for all of us. It can be very scary to allow others to see the real us. But as Ledger learned, it is better to let our talents be seen, and to use our unique talents to help those around us as only we can.