Author: Ellen Potter
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
How Received: publisher ARC
Release Date: 28 February 2012
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.
Every now and then I pick up a middle grade book. I haven't been blown away by any in a long time. (It's hard when my basis for middle grade comparison is Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl and Erin Hunter's Warriors series.) But they're nice when I want a short, quick romp through a book.
The Humming Room provided just that; full of interesting characters and a fun setting, it managed to distract me for the quick hour it took to read. (At 182 pages, it's not very long.) It was cute and fun and, really, everything it should have been.
I did have problems with Roo's character at the beginning, only because she licks a glass snake and I couldn't think of anybody really who did that and it seemed kind of out of character for Roo because she may have been wild but she was also smart and smart people just don't go around licking things, ya know? But besides that one moment, I really liked her and her adoration of nature.
The other characters were interesting and fun, I suppose; I didn't really have any sort of fondness for any of them outside of Roo and, perhaps, Jack. (You'll find out who he is if you read it. Spoiler free!)
Final Comments: A cute middle grade story. It's based on The Secret Garden, so if you like that, you can take a peek at this, I suppose - I've never read it! (I know, I know - I'll read it eventually.)
Cover Notes: Eek, I love it! I love art covers that depict a scene from a book, though, and the font is just awesome.
Anybody else looking forward to it? Who's read The Secret Garden and thinks I need to read that, too?