Potter, Ellen The Humming Room, 192 pgs. Feiwel & Friends, 2012. $16.99. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: G
Roo’s dad is dead and she has been shipped off to live with an uncle she has never met. She finds herself in a creepy old house that used to be a children’s hospital and even though she doesn’t believe in ghosts, some things are happening that make her question if she’s right. What are the people in her new home hiding? Roo is determined to solve the mysteries and stop the lies.
The book takes its main plot from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. The main character of Roo is a convincing modernization of Mary, but her cousin is vaguely drawn and leaves that aspect of the story wanting. The book would have been better being more the story of Roo and her discovery of the island and the river as well as her relationship with Jack without the locked garden/returning the invalid to health distraction. The book is still enjoyable even with its weaknesses and young readers will like the mystery set in a spooky hospital even if the plot is resolved too easily and abruptly.
EL (4-6) — OPTIONAL. AEB Social Studies Teacher