Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Ingrid Law
For ages 9 to 12
Dial, 2002   ISBN: 978-0803733060

Mibs is about to turn thirteen and in her family this particular birthday is very important. The reason for this is that this is the age when people in her family get their "savvy," their special gift or talent. When Mibs' brother Fish turned thirteen he caused a hurricane, and he has struggled with his storm creating tendencies every since. Her other big brother Rocket attracts electricity, and his gift not only breaks appliances but it also runs the family car.

Mibs is eager to find out what her savvy will be, and then all her hopes for a special birthday celebration are dashed. Her father is involved in a terrible multi-car pileup on the highway, and soon Mibs' mother heads for Salina to be with her injured husband. Mibs stays at home with her bothers and her grandfather in the care of the preacher's wife. Which is why Mibs finds herself in the church on her birthday attending a party that she does not want, and surrounded by people she does not really like. All Mibs wants to do is to go to Salina to be with her mother. She is convinced that she will be able to use her savvy will help her father.

And this is when Mibs gets the brilliant idea. While the party is going on, she sneaks onto the pink bus that a bible salesman drives, thinking that he must be going back to the city. Her brothers Fish and Sampson, and the preacher's children also get on the bus. Unfortunately the driver goes north instead of south, in the wrong direction, and Mibs begins to wonder when she will be able to be with her father. She is also very worried about her savvy, which has arrived on time. It is not at all what Mibs expected, and she cannot help wondering what use it will be to her.

In this powerful book, Ingrid Law explores friendships, she looks at an important rite of passage, and she shows her readers how well meant plans can go hopelessly awry – in both sad and funny ways. This is a memorable book filled with beautiful language, splendid imagery, and colorful characters.