I am so happy that I finally was able to read Newberry Honor Winner Ingrid Law's books – Savvy and Scumble. These were graciously loaned to me by one of my beta readers many, many months ago. I will miss their beautiful covers sitting around in various places in my house.
From the opening lines of Savvy, the strong voice and unique plotline of these novels had me caught in a magical storytelling web as we follow a mad-cap family through their adventures as each person receives a special power (savvy) when they turn thirteen. These savvies often arrive with a whirl of wind or a blast of lightning, but sometimes, they slide in with barely a whisper, leaving the new owner to unravel what power they have been given. The second book, Scumble, is equally delightful and focuses on how members of the family are learning to control (or scumble) their savvy.
Now, I find out that just last year, Ingrid Law published a third installment entitled Switch. I am definitely adding this to my reading list! In case you are wondering, these are middle-grade novels that anyone in late grade school on up will enjoy.
This month, I also enjoyed the second novel in the On the Road mystery series – On the Road to Where the Bells Toll. I was pleased to have the chance to talk with the author duo who writes as M.J. Williams at our local book club (Books & Beer). These authors have crafted a well-written mystery with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing (and guessing wrong.) I am usually quite good at figuring out the “who-did-it” part of mysteries, but it wasn’t until fairly close to the end that I figured this one out. Plenty of good hints and red herrings along the way.
That would have been enough to keep me reading, but add to it the likeable characters that these two authors have created and you have made me a forever fan. I had to laugh at the bookmark the authors hand out. One of the quotes says “characters I’d love to have a drink with…” and that is surely the case. Stan and Emily Remington are newly retired and finding adventure in an inherited RV. It’s not that want to find dead bodies . . . it’s just that they keep turning up. Emily’s skills from her years as a police officer combine nicely with her husband’s knowledge as retired history professor and make them a fun sleuthing team to watch unravel a mystery. The dialog is so well designed that I feel like I truly KNOW these characters. As a history buff, I love how these authors have interwoven interesting facts and settings within their stories, too.
Finally, I’d like to give a shout out to the Teen & Tween Writing Group at the Columbus Public Library - now formally known as The Inklings. I am excited that I have been included as a guest author in this group of “Future Famous Authors”. Just like last month, when I spent a good portion of my reading time on unpublished works, I was honored to read through two manuscripts from a series authored by one of these teens. Let me just say, I will be the biggest cheerleader EVER when this story is available for everyone to read! (But for now it is all hush hush.)