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Penguin’s Savvy move

July 15, 2008

I think the free ebook trend is very cool and am glad to see Penguin try it out with a children’s book, Savvy by Ingrid Law. Through July 20, you can read the entire book for free online. This type of promotion is working for adult books. Here’s to hoping it works just as well with books for a younger audience.

Book description:

A vibrant new voice . . . a modern classic.

For generations, the Beaumont family has harbored a magical secret. They each possess a “savvy”-a special supernatural power that strikes when they turn thirteen. Grandpa Bomba moves mountains, her older brothers create hurricanes and spark electricity . . . and now it’s the eve of Mibs’s big day.

As if waiting weren’t hard enough, the family gets scary news two days before Mibs’s birthday: Poppa has been in a terrible accident. Mibs develops the singular mission to get to the hospital and prove that her new power can save her dad. So she sneaks onto a salesman’s bus . . . only to find the bus heading in the opposite direction. Suddenly Mibs finds herself on an unforgettable odyssey that will force her to make sense of growing up-and of other people, who might also have a few secrets hidden just beneath the skin.

And the link, once again.

Edited to add: You can also get the book as a PDF from and

7 Comments leave one →
  1. marce permalink
    July 16, 2008 11:45 am

    Hey there, I tried to read it on-line, but could only download chapter one or hear chapter one. if you can do it for free, it’s not obvious.

  2. July 16, 2008 1:02 pm

    That’s weird. It worked for me. Try this link and see if it works: Do you have the latest Flash Player installed on your computer?

  3. July 16, 2008 5:32 pm

    A couple more options: get the PDF from or Now that is brilliant.

  4. July 18, 2008 2:28 am

    Hey guys,

    The site is great!

    I’m just wondering if you can talk a little about the line between YA and MG books. I’m just starting to think about it, and in the years since I was a YA reader, things have changed a lot. Since you’re the experts… I thought you might give it a shot!


  5. July 20, 2008 1:42 pm

    Laurel – Thanks! First, I have to say that I don’t read much MG fiction, or know much about its history, so don’t think I’m the best person to answer your question. But I’ll give it a shot. I guess it’s partly marketing, and in terms of libraries, collection development (as in, what ages/grades your YA collection is aimed at), that decides whether a book is a YA or MG. I mean, there are books for 5th-8th grade, which would be considered MG and put in the children’s section, and books for 7th grade and up, which would be in YA. I think genre also plays a role, since teens seem to be more willing to read MG-ish fantasy than MG fiction in other genres. And, I could be totally wrong here, but I don’t recall MG being around when I was a teen. Today’s YA, encompassing a larger and older audience, is a relatively recent development. I heard last summer that in the ’90s, publishers only considered YA as going up to age 12 (or was it 14? Either way, the target YA audience was young). So my interpretation is, now that we’ve got YA books with age recommendations that start at age 16, we now also have books that once might have been considered YA, but with the changes within YA publishing, may now be MG.

    Oh, and I also think this gray area between MG and YA is partly a result in the overlap between ALSC and YALSA. ALSC bylaws say that they’re serving kids up through 8th grade, while YALSA defines YA as 12-18. Even for major awards, Newbery criteria says, “Children are defined as persons of ages up to and including fourteen,” and Printz says, “…or one published for the age range that YALSA defines as ‘young adult,’ i.e., 12 through 18.”

    Can’t tell you where the line may be drawn in terms of subject matter, because, as I said, I don’t read enough MG to be knowledgeable about it.

  6. Gina Welber permalink
    November 2, 2009 9:44 am

    I found this book quite interesting actually. It really suprised me, but I would have to say the illistration was my favorite part.


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