by Ingrid Law

Paperback, 2011



Local notes

PB Law



Puffin Books (2011), Edition: Reprint, 432 pages


Mibs's cousin Ledge is disappointed to discover that his "savvy"--the magical power unique to each member of their family--is to make things fall apart, which endangers his uncle Autry's ranch and reveals the family secret to future reporter Sarah.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

432 p.; 5.13 inches


0142419621 / 9780142419625



User reviews

LibraryThing member Laffrey
What would you do if turning 13 meant not only the dawn of puberty, pimples and emotional upheavals, but the appearance of a special power, or savvy. Not the kind of super hero power that might actually make middle school more bearable, like being able to read the mind of that cute girl in science or the ability to stop locker room bullies with a single look. No, these powers make it nearly impossible to even attend school – how do you act “normal” when you walk into a building and all the light bulbs blow out?

Ledger Kale is convinced that his 13th birthday will bring him the super speed he needs to become the fastest kid in school and win the father/son half-marathon. But savvies seldom appear as one wishes and Ledger is graced with the ability to bust up anything held together with nuts and bolts (or screws or nails or, well you get the idea). This would be bad news at anytime, but right before the family leaves on a road trip from their home in Indiana to attend a family wedding at the home of an uncle in Wyoming, it’s downright disastrous. Throw in a 13-year-old local with a nose for news and a father who not only holds the deed to every property in town but has a severe dislike for anything out of the ordinary, and it could be the end of the Flying Cattleheart Ranch. Will Ledger learn to scumble or control his power? Is there more to his savvy than meets the eye? Will Uncle Autry’s ranch be saved?

In the 2009 Newbery Honor book, Savvy, Ingrid Law introduced us to Mississippi (Mibs) Beaumont and her family. She also introduced the idea of a “savvy”, a special power that appears on the 13th birthday of members of certain “savvy families”. Scumble, Law’s “companion” to Savvy, introduces Mibs cousins, who are spending the summer at Uncle Autry’s ranch after her brother Fish’s wedding. We also see a lot of Mibs’ brother Rocket (he of the electric touch) and Samson and her sister Gypsy. But the story focuses on Ledger and his struggle to scumble his savvy, while trying to put off kid reporter Sarah Jane Cabot and her nasty father who’s threatening to foreclose on the ranch.

Law is a great writer. Her plots are interesting and exciting and there’s always a twist to keep the reader on the edge of her (or his) seat. Her characters (like the incredibly annoying Sarah Jane) continue to defy expectations. Though everything gets wrapped up a little too neatly at the end, it’s still an extremely satisfying read. Savvy had one of the longest waitlists in our library last year and I know Scumble will join its “companion” at the top of the charts.
… (more)
LibraryThing member foggidawn
As if puberty wasn't bad enough! In Ledger Kale's extended family, kids look forward to their thirteenth birthday, not just as their entry to the turbulent teen years, but as the day their "savvy" will manifest. A savvy is a quirky special ability, such as Ledger's uncle's affinity for insects, or his grandpa's fabled ability to shift the ground for miles around. Ledger hopes for enough speed to make him the champion of his school track team (and the next father-son marathon), but his dreams of glory are shattered right along with his dad's nose-hair trimmers and his sister's stopwatch. Ledger's savvy involves breaking man-made gadgets, and the more agitated he becomes, the more likely he is to break bigger things. On a trip to Wyoming for a wedding at the family ranch, Ledger nearly disables the family car, not to mention blowing up a motorcycle and dismantling a barn. Ledger must learn to scumble (control, or tone down) his savvy before he breaks the first big rule of his family: don't let the world know about your savvy! His parents leave him for a few weeks' vacation at the ranch, but Ledger has more troubles than just an over-active savvy while he's there. Ledger's twin cousins are determined to pester him to the breaking point, and his cousin Rocket, with whom he shares a room, may just hate him. Girl reporter Sarah Jane from the nearby town has latched on to Ledger, certain that there's something different about him. And worst of all, the ranch is in danger of foreclosure unless Uncle Autry can figure out a way to scrape together enough money to pay off his loan. In the midst of all of these problems, Ledger learns some important lessons about self-control and keeping promises -- but will he find a way to help his uncle save the ranch, too?

This companion to Newbery Honor book Savvy stands on its own, though fans of the earlier book will be excited to see that Mibs makes a brief cameo in this volume. Ledger's plight will resonate with adolescents who struggle with finding their place in the world while dealing with difficult families, changing bodies, and bewildering budding romances. Scumble is part tall tale, part coming-of-age novel, and completely fun!
… (more)
LibraryThing member mikitchenlady
In Scumble, a companion story to Savvy, published in 2008 by Ingrid Law, members of the O’Connell acquire a savvy upon reaching their thirteenth birthday. Savvys are best described as special skills that in this family range from the ability to capture music in jars, a special affinity for bugs (even making them communicate for you), the ability to levitate and move objects, or even a propensity toward electricity, albeit unmanaged. Scumbling is the ability to control your savvy, to make it work for you and when you want it to.

It comes as no surprise to the Kale family (mother Dinah O’Connell) when Ledge develops his savvy on his thirteen birthday, although initially his seems to be the ability to tear apart and destroy things, which poses minor and major challenges as the family heads to the O’Connell ranch to celebrate a wedding. On the way, Ledge makes the acquaintance of 13 year old Sarah Jane Cabot, writer, editor and publisher of "The Sundance Scuttlebutt: Your #1 Source for News of the Strange". Sarah has stolen something from Ledge, and as he struggles to get it back from her, will she find out more about the O’Connell family than it’s good for her to know? And with Sarah’s father foreclosing on so many businesses in Sundance, will the O’Connell’s ranch be next?

This is a great story, and can be read independent of Savvy, although reading both together would help younger reader remember some important details of family members that are shared between the stories. Ledge is a well-formed character, pretty typical of an early teenage boy, savvy notwithstanding – he prefers to bathe in the river, he gets flustered around girls, and he’s having a hard time growing up. The concept of a savvy is a nice metaphor for a person’s individual gifts and talents, and how these can be nurtured into something worthwhile, even if at first it’s not clear how someone might use them. A great middle school read, good for both boys and girls.
… (more)
LibraryThing member JulieBenolken
Having loved Savvy, I was excited to read Scumble and happy to be thrust back into the world of the savvy-enabled, where on your thirteenth birthday you find yourself with a new talent. Ledger Kale has a difficult savvy, mechanical things fall apart in his presence, whether it's small appliances or the vehicle he's riding in nothing is safe from his newly acquired "gift'. While Scumble might not have been as fantastic a read as the Savvy, it was a satisfying read. Coming to terms with a savvy, especially one hard to control seems an apt parallel to adolescence. This is turning into a really fun series and I hope it continues.… (more)
LibraryThing member librarian_k
Ledger Kale's just turned 13, and his savvy isn't what he wanted it to be. Instead of something cool, like reading people's minds (like his cousin), forcing someone's will (like his mother), or creating vast amounts of land (like his grandfather), Ledger's savvy is just...breaking stuff. And he can't control it. After a disastrous family wedding, Ledger is left to spend the summer at his uncle's ranch, where he hopes to scumble his savvy.

What fun! I love the cover and typeset of this book. I love the cast of characters, and I liked that this book isn't so much a sequel as it is a side by side novel. You don't have to have read Savvy to read Scumble, and since Scumble is about a boy, maybe Law will reach a new set of readers with this one. It's super fun, intelligent, and fresh.
… (more)
LibraryThing member keeneam
This was an absolutely wonderful book and a great follow up to Savvy. I loved the new characters and savvies as well as hearing about the familiar characters from the first book. This book draws you in and it was very difficult to put down. I can't wait for another companion to here about the younger children and catch up on these wonderful families. There is real heart in this story and great lessons to learn about becoming oneself and making the world fit you instead of the other way around. I would read this book as well as the first multiple times.… (more)
LibraryThing member VaterOlsen
Ledger has turned thirteen years old and experiencing his savvy - special powers - for the first time. He was hoping to be able to run like the wind, instead mechanical objects are breaking to pieces all around him. Several of his family members shared an inability to control their savvy when they gained them, but Ledger is embarrassed and unable to see the silver lining in an ability to break things. Avoiding "helpful hints," the house and all of its fragile contents, and running consume Ledger's summer. Will he be able to slow down and control his savvy?
Tweens will appreciate this book with challenges familiar to their own...awkwardness, misunderstanding adults, and new abilities that are seemingly out of control.
… (more)
LibraryThing member 4sarad
Not a sequel, but a companion book to Savvy. It can stand alone, but in the beginning there are LOTS of characters introduced that you learned about in Savvy, so it may be a little less overwhelming if you've read Savvy first. I was thinking it would be cute in a middle school classroom to have literature circles... the boys reading Scumble and the girls reading Savvy and then talking about them and comparing. Anyways, I liked this book a lot, but there was one thing that bothered me. Often the character's reactions seemed unrealistic. A kid would say something I can't picture any kid saying or the uncle would burst out laughing when what was said or done was nowhere near funny enough to laugh out loud for. Other than that, I really enjoyed the story and would suggest the book to many young readers.… (more)
LibraryThing member kalexanderlbschools
(Sequel to Saavy) - Thirteen year old Ledge comes into his "saavy" (special power) on his 13th birthday. He was hoping it would be running track so he could fulfill his father's dreams, but instead, it's the power to disassemble metal things… involuntarily and explosively. Disappointed, he spends the summer on his uncle's ranch, trying to get control of his powers and come to grips with his disappointment. His family (all of whom have their own "saavies" try to encourage him. He meets Sarah Jane who first annoys him but then kind of gets under his skin. Finally, he's able to learn to "scumble" (use his powers selectively) and find his own future as an artist while helping to save the family ranch. A fantasy full of everyday wisdom, this charming novel will appeal to anyone who would love to see the world be a touch more magical.… (more)
LibraryThing member skstiles612
Scumble is the second book by Ingrid law about a family that has a secret. they each get their "savvy", kid of like a secret power when they turn thirteen. Like all of Ledger (Ledge) Kalis' relatives before him it takes a little time to get his savvy under control. He feels bad about his power because it destroys human objects. These objects can range from something as simple as his father's nose hair trimmers to a motorcycle. Traveling cross-country with his parents to attend his cousin's wedding played havoc with the vehicle. Disastrous things happen at the wedding. Because of this he is placed away form others until he can "scumble", learn to control, his savvy. Add to this predicament, cousins who torment him while pretending to help him, and an outsider who has learned about his family's savvies and her father who wants to take over his uncle's ranch. The fun never ends. The secondary characters are all charming and leave an open door for more books about this unique family. Like her first book "Savvy", Ingrid Law has created a fantastic journey that every child dream of taking.… (more)
LibraryThing member asomers
I found the narration to be irritating. There were too many gaps in the story that I needed to fill in. In all honesty, I did not read Savvy , so maybe it would have made more sense to start with the first book in the series, but I like a series book that allows the reader to jump in and still get the gist of what is going on even if you haven't read them in order. I do have to admit I wish I had Ledger's mom's Savvy! It would be very useful for both my children and my students!… (more)
LibraryThing member LibraryBlondie
When I read Savvy last summer I must admit that though I thought it was good I didn't *love* it for some reason. Maybe because I tend to prefer edgier fiction written for older teens, maybe it was just the wrong book at the wrong time. Nonetheless, I expected to feel the same way about Scumble. Instead I found myself really enjoying it. It's well-written, pitch-perfect, and an overall fantastic bit of magical realism for juvenile level readers. It's touching, original and really held my interest. The characters learn lessons without the tone ever being too didactic or preachy. In fact God and prayer are mentioned several times but in such a natural, matter-of-fact way that you know it's more a representation of who the characters are than a point the author is trying to get across. I think we would have a lot of readership for it in our library, and I'll be adding it to my "wish list" and waiting for the next volume.… (more)
LibraryThing member GRgenius
Ledge is excited about life and all it has to offer. For him, its about to get even better since he is turning 13. Why is that so special? In his family, 13 is the magical age that you come into your savvy, or special talent and with any luck it'll mesh perfectly with his heart's desire. Ooh...too bad savvy's don't really care what talent you want....they just come as they are. As things start to come undone rather quickly, in more ways than one, will Ledge be able to scumble his savvy before it's too late?

A fantastic addition to the series that started out with SAVVY, author Ingrid Law has a way of drawing readers into her magically tinged world with relateable story lines and likeable characters. Even those you'd sooner dislike than count amongst your friends are given a back story to explain the reason behind their current state that makes you feel for them. With magical talents ranging from the functional to the amazing, you can't help but marvel at the creativity behind it all. A great book for the whole family...happy reading!
… (more)
LibraryThing member audramelissa
A whimsical, fantasy of a story about a boy from a family of people with special powers (or “savvy”). The awkwardness of adolescence and puberty are magnified by the development of Ledger’s savvy on his thirteenth birthday. Instead of a useful power like mind-reading, Ledger has acquired a destructive one he struggles to control. "Scumble" is a companion (not a sequel) to Law’s "Savvy" and new readers are brought up to speed quickly through the introduction of the savvy clan.… (more)
LibraryThing member mariah2
In Ledger Kale’s family no one knows what types of surprises they are in for when one of them turns 13, and guess who just turned 13. With a perfect blending of magic, suspense, humor, personal responsibility, and coming of age angst, SCUMBLE scores a touchdown with the two point conversion to boot. While one does not have to read the Newbery Honor winning companion book, SAVVY, to enjoy this story, it would give a better background as to what a savvy is and some of the unique talents of this interesting family.… (more)
LibraryThing member Bitter_Grace
Loved it! Scumble has wonderful characters, a great story, an engaging voice, and a lot of heart. I liked it even better than Law's award-winning Savvy.

Ledger Kale is hoping his 13th birthday will bring him a cool savvy like his cousins'...the ability to read minds or control the weather. Instead he gets stuck with the catastrophic, and difficult to control, tendency to make everything around him fall apart. This makes the drive up to Uncle Autry's ranch, where all the "savvy misfits" live, all the more harrowing. While at the ranch, Ledge falls under the scrutiny of local teen reporter Sarah Jane, who threatens to expose the family's secrets. Ledge must figure out how to scumble (control) his savvy while trying to save his uncle's ranch from being foreclosed by Sarah Jane's father, and sorting out his feelings toward SJ herself.

I really enjoyed this well-written book. Even the somewhat hackneyed lesson about finding balance in your life as you grow up and affirm your identity is delivered tastefully. The warmth and humor of the novel see to that. I can only hope that there are more books about the Beaumont family to come, since this is one of those books that leaves you wanting more when it's finished.
… (more)
LibraryThing member readinggeek451
Ledge's family all develop a "savvy"--some kind of magical ability--on their thirteenth birthdays. Ledge is hoping--expecting--that he will get super-speed. Instead, he gets the ability to destroy mechanical things just by looking at them--and he has no control over it. He and his little sister wind up spending the summer at his cousins' ranch in Wyoming, in the hopes that he will learn to manage his savvy. An annoying neighbor girl and her obnoxious father further complicate matters.

Smoother and more accomplished than Savvy, to which this is an indirect sequel.
… (more)
LibraryThing member prkcs
Mibs's cousin Ledge is disappointed to discover that his "savvy"--the magical power unique to each member of their family--is to make things fall apart, which endangers his uncle Autry's ranch and reveals the family secret to future reporter Sarah.
LibraryThing member claireforhan
After reading Savvy, I couldn't wait to read Scumble. It was fantastic, I almost liked it better than Savvy. Scumble is about Mibs Beaumont cousin, Ledger Kale, and on his 13 birthday, he receives the power to make things fall apart. When attending a family wedding (for Fish Beaumont) out in Wyoming, a young girl who wants to be a reporter, Sarah-Jane, becomes nosy in Ledger's life and learns his secret. Ledger must protect his family secret and learn to scumble his savvy before he makes his uncle's entire ranch fall down. Ledger becomes friends with Sarah-Jane, although her father has banned them from seeing each other, and Ledger is not really sure why...

Ledger finds out that Sarah-Jane (although she does not know it) also has a savvy, the power to convince people through writing, and her father did not want SJ to hang around people with savvies because he didn't want to lose his daughter like he lost his wife (who had a savvy). Ledger ends up saving his uncle's ranch from demolition by SJ's father by learning to use his savvy in a good way, and he learns that in addition to taking things apart, he can also put things back together.

This is a great read for middle schoolers, even late elementary schoolers who are advanced readers. The vocabulary is not too difficult, and the plot is very fun and engaging! Definitely recommend reading!
… (more)
LibraryThing member CatheOlson
My daughters and I loved Savvy and were excited about Law's new book Scumble. I had a hard time sticking this with this one though. I found it hard to empathize with the main character, Ledge. His poor me, everything I do is wrong, everybody hates me act that went on chapter after chapter felt tedious after a while. The book picked up toward the end and had an exciting conclusion, but I wish the road to get there had been a little more compelling.… (more)
LibraryThing member cmbohn
Ledger Kane can't wait for his 13th birthday. In his family, that's when you get your savvy, or your magical talent. His dad is sure that Ledger's gift will be speed, but instead, Ledger gets the not-so-wonderful gift of breaking things. Toaster, blenders, cars, you name it, he can break it without really thinking about it. His parents take him to a family wedding and once there, his gift really erupts. But now is his chance to learn to scumble it, or control it, in the quiet surrounding of the Wyoming countryside. But he better hurry up, because town girl Sarah Jane is on to him and his family, his grandpa's failing fast, and his uncle is about to lose his home.

I really enjoyed this book. Lots of fun and very inventive. I loved Ledger and I was really rooting for him.
… (more)
LibraryThing member lisa_a_hobbs
I loved Savvy from start to finish. Scumble didn't grab me right away, but I'm glad I kept reading. I liked the story more and more as it progressed. By the time it was over, I was sad to see it end. The idea of a having a special power, or savvy, is so appealing - especially if you're not quite 13, the age when many of the characters acquire their savvy. Scumble is a story that reminds us how tough change can be for anyone, as well as how overwhelming it can be to learn something new. The funky family and townspeople in this story make a great backdrop for an entertaining story.… (more)
LibraryThing member beckybrarian
I loved Savvy - the plot was creative and unique. For those who haven't read Savvy (and you don't need to to read Scumble), in the Beaumont family, children recieve their "savvy" on their thirteenth birthdays. A savvy is a special power, unique to each family member - such as being able control the weather or the ability to do everything perfectly.

When Ledge Kale gets his savvy, he's disappointed to find out that it's the ability to make things completely fall apart. Ledge's particular savvy will be very difficult to "scumble" (control). Ledge really needs to scumble his savvy before he lets the family secret out to the world!

This is a fun book for kids (3-5th grade) and will particularly appeal to those who loved Savvy. The adventure is fast paced and has the kind of plot lots of different readers will enjoy. I'll be passing this one out to lots of kids at the library!
… (more)
LibraryThing member gracemcclain
I will preface this by saying I did not read Savvy before this, but I enjoyed it and understood it all the same. About a boy who is coming to terms with his newly acquired magical skill (something every member of his family gets when they turn 13), Scumble follows Ledger Kale through his taming, or "scumbling," of his particular skill, which happens to be destroying everything in sight. Every time he experiences an extreme emotion, something around him breaks in a spectacular way. It is set against the picturesque backdrop of his uncle's midwestern bug farm, where other family members go to gather and hide out (if they, too, are having trouble scumbling). This makes for quite the cast of memorable, quirky and completely lovable characters. Although it hits a few speed bumps a bit in the beginning, it ambles along with the midwest charm that emanates from the characters themselves and makes a place for itself right in your heart. It's about figuring out exactly who you are and excepting others for the same. New friends, self-confidence, family, and discovering talent (especially in the arts) are all on display in this charming story.… (more)
LibraryThing member amanderson
Cute fantasy read for middle schoolers about a boy from an unusual magical family who has to learn to get control of his unique magic power (or "savvy") when he gains it at age 13. He destroys things like clocks and motorcycles by inadvertently magically deconstructing them. His extended family is experiencing trouble with a local "Mr. Potter" style banker character and might lose their ranch, and the plot revolves around this. Not as touching as the author's prior book Savvy, which takes place some 12 or so years earlier than the events of this book, but it's still a solid story.… (more)






(135 ratings; 4)
Page: 0.3585 seconds