Study Guide

Fish Beaumont in Savvy

By Ingrid Law

Fish Beaumont

Ever hear of middle-child syndrome? Do you have it? Then you'll probably identify with Fish Beaumont, the second born son of the Beaumont family. Fish has a bit of chip on his shoulder trying to prove his self-control to his family—especially since his savvy made it so they had to move away from the ocean. Oops.

Rock You Like A Hurricane

Fish's savvy hit the Beaumonts hard. Literally. On his thirteenth birthday he started a hurricane that nearly obliterated everyone around them, so the family packed up and moved inland, as far away from any water source as they could get. While it's tricky for Mibs to adjust to her savvy, at least it isn't a matter of life and death the way Fish's is.

There's something kind of cool about Fish's savvy, though. More often than not, it starts rumbling when Fish's emotions get out of control, which means that his savvy doesn't just create weather—it also clues us into how he's feeling. Check out this scene with the Meeks:

Fish was standing in front of me now, acting like a shield between me and Will and Bobbi Meeks. He had his feet planted and his arms out at his sides like some kind of comic book Superkid, his own hair whipping up a frenzy as he pushed out powerful storms of wind and rain that started the bus rocking and knocked Bobbi backward into Will. (20.23)

Suffice it to say, Fish isn't too keen on people getting in his family's way. The only problem here, though, is that Bobbi and Will Junior aren't getting in his family's way—these two are actually totally down with who the Beaumonts are and ready to keep their family secret safe. Oops—looks like Fish, just like Mibs, has some trust issues to work out.

On the upside, though, the cool thing about this passage is that it's a physical representation of how Fish tries to live his life: he acts as a shield for his family against the people who might hurt them for being different. He may not be gauging the situation accurately, but he's coming from a good place.

Master Scumble, At Your Service

If mastering savvies were a competition, Fish would be the all star player. At just fourteen years old, he's able to scumble his savvy and bring it under his control—something not even his older brother, Rocket, can do.

Scumbling is key to a successful life with a savvy, since it ensures that a savvy won't come bursting out at an inopportune moment. The importance of control is magnified by the fact that Fish's savvy can cause serious damage when let loose, making it all the more important for him to be in full command of it. But you don't have to take our word for it—Fish can show you himself:

Controlled. Fish had controlled his outburst—aimed it even. The sign clattered to the ground from its midair path, like a kite plummeting to the earth when the wind suddenly dies. (21.12)

The sign, in case you weren't sure, would be a street sign a.k.a. a pretty dangerous thing to have swirling through the air in whipping winds. But this is a turning point for Fish, who has been at the mercy of his savvy and his emotional outbursts up until this point—he is finally able to engage his savvy deliberately, to take charge and tone it down. With this shift, Fish stops being a wildcard who might cause a storm if he gets upset, to a reliable—albeit quite powerful—presence.

Family Man

Fish takes on a protector role in Savvy—with Poppa sick and Rocket at the hospital, it's up to Fish to take the lead as head of the family. Mibs seems to be on the verge of divulging her family's secret to Will Junior and Bobbi at times, but Fish consistently steps in to protect the Beaumonts from exposure.

But Fish doesn't just keep the Beaumont family powers under lock—he also helps Mibs realize that she can save Poppa after all. And in this way, Fish also acts as a guide to our main girl. Finally at her father's bedside and feeling discouraged since her savvy isn't what she'd initially thought, Fish shows Mibs how she can still help out using the savvy she does have. He says:

"Mibs," said Fish, hardly loud enough for me to hear. I looked up at my brother, who tapped his own forearm meaningfully, then nodded at Poppa. "Miss Mermaid, Mibs," he whispered. "What about Miss Mermaid?" (36.5)

Without Fish around, who knows how long it would have taken Mibs to figure out how to use her savvy here. Heck—she might not have at all, and then Poppa might have stayed in his coma. Fish might have been forced into taking the lead after his dad's accident, but he does more than just step into the role. Fish takes all of the accompanying responsibilities seriously, and doesn't give up on his sister or her mission.