I only got through one book this week. I would like to tell you that it was a really fat book with teenie tiny print, but it was still less than 200 pages...print size was normal.. and...seriously, what happened this week?
Regardless, here we go...
The Humming Room
by Ellen Potter
Have you ever The Secret Garden? Classic, right? Well, this book is a modern day Secret Garden. Inspired by the original book, after her father is murdered Roo comes to live with her eccentric uncle in an old mysterious house that used to be a tuberculosis sanitarium for children. Her life before was unpredictable and Roo had survived by hiding away, watching the world, and being small (both literally and figuratively). When she comes to Cough Rock, the house has secrets and nobody is being honest with Roo. Where is the humming coming from? What is that screaming? Roo sets out on a journey to find the secrets of the house and understand the secrets of the river around her.
Now, it has been awhile since I read the original or even saw the movie, so I can't say exactly how much of the story is the same, but the highlights are all there. There is a boy hidden in a room who throws tantrums. There is a secret garden that Roo sets out to revive. And there is a disgruntled uncle stricken with grief after the death of his wife who has a change of heart. I believe these are all strong elements of the original storyline, right? I enjoyed the addition of the St. Lawrence river, her mystery friend who is a bit of legend in the community, and her journey to become a true "River Rat".
Overall, this was a lovely story. I will admit...I had a hard time getting into the book during the first 100 or so pages. It took me that long to not want to put it down. However, eventually I was lost in the story and now I find myself desperately wanting to watch the Secret Garden movie (which I loved as child) to compare.
Ellen Potter crafted a beautiful novel. The language was descriptive and precise. Great words used throughout. One chapter of this book would be great for a vocabulary lesson or a wonderful words hunt. This book is appropriate for grades 4 and up. I think it would be great for middle school. I would have loved to have been assigned this book in 7th grade English, right after reading The Giver. :)
Grades 4-8 (RL 5.2)
Texas Bluebonnet Nominee
So, what have you been reading this week? Link up and share your favorite or most recent reads in the children's/YA literature category. Picture books and chapter books welcome.
Please remember to link directly to your Fiction Friday post.
Hop around our linky below to discover some great reads and maybe even a few freebies along the way. Also, don't forget to join me on Sunday for another Favorites from the Year feature.
Hope you all had a great 4th of July! I'm off to the gym to work off that apple pie!