16 February 2012

(ARC) MG Review: The Humming Room by Ellen Potter

Release Date: 28 February 2012
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! Amazon | B&N

Goodreads description:
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.
My Thoughts...

In this adorable novel, Ellen Potter has updated the magical story of The Secret Garden and made it into a fun story that young readers will thoroughly enjoy.  The reader is pulled into a world where it is uncertain what is real and you're constantly wondering if this is going to be magic or reality and in the end maybe it's a little of both.
Space can be a friend or an enemy, so you should always know how much of it your body needs.
-p2, eARC
Roo is a really interesting character. She's closed herself off from the world and then she's taken to an unknown uncle and ends up more isolated than ever in an island mansion.  She's tough, though, and finds ways to make herself and home.  I really enjoyed her and I'm not even sure that I can define WHY precisely, but she doesn't back down from what she believes and she doesn't let others bully her.

The likeness to The Secret Garden can't be missed with this storyline, but the updating that Ms. Potter has given the story works very well.  The writing flows well and I don't think readers will be able to resist the pull of the story that she has so beautifully crafted. Ms. Potter has also succeeded in crafting a setting that has a life of its own.  The island and the house almost become characters in their own right--with secrets waiting to be discovered.

The Humming Room will easily appeal to its intended audience of middle grade readers.  The writing and story will capture their imaginations without putting undue strain on their reading abilities.  I'd recommend this one to some reluctant readers who possible enjoy a little bit of mystery and strong female characters.  It's also, clearly, a must-read for fans of The Secret Garden.


Giada Mariani said...

I love The Secret Garden and The Humming Room sounds really adorable. Oh and that beautiful cover!!! I'm sold. Thank you for the great review! :D

Lena Maxwell said...

I read this book last week and really loved it, the story is so well written!

LaToyaL said...

Very cool! I love middle grade reads and this cover is adorable. Thanks for the great review :) 

Becca said...

This seems a good read. I like novel with a twist of suspense. My daughter will also
like this story..hope this is available in my cloud reader.

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