When anyone in the Beaumont family (cousins, too) turns 13, they gain an unusual power, called their savvy. The normal gifts are there — electricity, invisibility and cases of speed — but there are unusual ones too. Mississippi’s (aka Mibs’) mother is perfect; one of her brothers generates storms complete with rain, clouds and wind, and her grandmother used to bottle radio waves. A few days before Mibs’ 13th birthday, her non-savvy father is in a car wreck, and Mibs isn’t allowed to go see him at the hospital.
On the morning of Mibs’ birthday, she is convinced she knows what her savvy is, and that it will help her wake up her father. So she catches a ride on a pink Bible school bus with two brothers, the boy she likes and his older, very teenage sister. Along the way, Mibs discovers her real savvy, not her imagined one, is the savvy she needs, and that things have a way of working out.
Although this book is aimed at middle-schoolers, I found the writing to be very flowing and more advanced than most middle-grade books. It’s very beautiful. I’m not too familiar with the setting — mainly Nebraska/Kansas/tornado alley, but I was able to clearly envision it. The premise is unique, and the family are not all superheroes, like you might imagine. In fact, the grandmother’s sister’s savvy is being able to open locks, so she’s sticky-fingered.
Overall, I was very happy with the book, which feels like a cross between a real-life-boy-problems book mixed with Percy Jackson. It was a new take on fantasy. There were no cases of swearing (other than put-downs from evil people). There was one, not-really-happening kiss and some tween romance. The 16-year-old girl is rebellious and wears a red bikini at some point, but this book is very clean. Looking forward to the sequel!