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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Review: The Humming Room by Ellen Potter

Reading Level: Middle Grade
Publication Date: February 2012
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 192
Series: no
Acquisition: NetGalley

Hiding is Roo Fanshaw's special skill. Living in a frighteningly unstable family, she often needs to disappear at a moment's notice. When her parents are murdered, it's her special hiding place under the trailer that saves her life.
As it turns out, Roo, much to her surprise, has a wealthy if eccentric uncle, who has agreed to take her into his home on Cough Rock Island. Once a tuberculosis sanitarium for children of the rich, the strange house is teeming with ghost stories and secrets. Roo doesn't believe in ghosts or fairy stories, but what are those eerie noises she keeps hearing? And who is that strange wild boy who lives on the river? People are lying to her, and Roo becomes determined to find the truth.
Despite the best efforts of her uncle's assistants, Roo discovers the house's hidden room--a garden with a tragic secret.
Inspired by The Secret Garden, this tale full of unusual characters and mysterious secrets is a story that only Ellen Potter could write. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
The Humming Room is a retelling of The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett. Now, I have to admit, I read the story ages ago but I've seen the Hallmark movie a couple of dozen times at least. Not the same, I know, but I still feel like I know the story well. Saying that, I also have to say that The Humming Room is a fantastic retelling. Set in a different time, a different place with very different people, it still has the same feel, the same essence as the original story.

The characters are wonderful. Tiny Roo who's never had a good reason to open herself up to anyone. Jack with his wild ways and gentle nature. Roo's uncle full of secrets and guilt. Plus a cast of other characters that are sure to leave an impression long after the last page of their tale is read.

Final verdict:
A quick read for me, but a very very good read.

I almost want to say I liked The Humming Room more then The Secret Garden. It's more readable in my opinion and even though the classic is well, classic in it's storytelling, The Humming Room had more heart to me. I felt more invested in it's characters and in it's world.

If you're looking for a great middle grade read for yourself or a young reader in your life I highly recommend The Humming Room.

Overall Rating:
4.5 / 5 Stars

Linkage Love:
Author's website


  1. I've had my eye on this one for a while. Love that it's a take on The Secret Garden...one of my childhood favs!

  2. This one sounds fun! I never heard of it before but I might give it a shot in the future. Thanks for putting it on my radar. Great review :)


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