The Humming Room
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.
I guess I should start by telling you how much I love the classics - how I was this weird little girl who read Oliver Twist like 45 times, or got more excited about the box of illustrated classics I got for Christmas when I was 9 than I was for the toys (in fact, I remember none of the toys, but still have most of the books). And I should probably tell you about how much I adore Francis Hodgson Burnett, and have read The Secret Garden more times than should be mentioned in polite society.
I understand the author's intent was to retell the original story, but felt she needed to claim it as her own. Early in the book there was the suggestion of an other-worldly force at work, which seemed capable of giving this story a new twist. Unfortu...more
Read the rest of my review here.
Ana: Sometimes my book-reading decisions are very easy to make: I wanted to read The Humming Room on the strengths of its cover alone. I knew nothing of it when I started reading it and didn’t realise it was a retelling of The Secret Garden (haven’t read that book) until I was done and read the blurb. I read the book without any expectations whatsoever and even though I have a few reservations, I really enjoyed this story.
Thea: I, too, was immediately struck by the lovely cover...more
I thoroughly enjoyed "The Humming Room". Roo is a truly fantastic character. I love...more
Release Date: February 28th, 2012
Date Read: 2012, January 14th-16th
Received: ARC from NetGalley
Rating: 4/5 stars
Recommended to: 11+
Roo Fanshaw is small for her age, and very shy. Her father, a man who dappled in illegal activities for a long time, has just been murdered, leaving Roo alone and in the custody of whoever will take her. When she is taken from her home to her eccentric Uncle's house on an island, Roo finds this harder to bear than al...more
Much of that comes from the changes in Roo's character and background. She has the stubbornness and touchiness of Mary, but, in her case, this is not born of indolence or having been spoiled. Instead, it seems that she was largely neglected and not given enough...more
I really enjoyed parts of The Humming Room, particularly the character of Roo, and the evocative descriptions of the river, island and the wildlife. Potter makes you feel the isolation of the island. Violet added needed warmth. Other cha...more
I am going to admit to you that I am not the biggest fan of The Secret Garden, primarily because I found the characters incredibly annoying. The blame lies completely with me, I’m sure. Howev...more
On the one hand, it's a not bad story of Roo Fanshaw, an orphaned girl taken in by her uncle, who discovers new friends and brings a neglected garden back to life.
On the other hand, it's a complete retread of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, almost scene for scene and character for character.
The author says outright this book was "inspired" by Burnett's classic. That's probably a good thing, because otherwise she would probably be at the center of a f...more
The Humming Room by Ellen Potter is a fantastic, modern retelling of The Secret Garden. In fact, other than the names and the setting, The Humming Room closely follows the beloved original. So why read The Humming Room, you say, instead of just re-reading The Secret Garden?
I give you – Roo. Distrustful and tough, wild and willful, Roo endeared herself to me from the first page. Something about Potter’s sharp and unsentimental description of the flatness of her green eyes, were they should be ali...more
It doesn't matter to me whether the target audience is adults or middle graders, as long as the story is good. And that's exactly what I got with THE HUMMING ROOM --a nicely composed book for Tweeners-on-up...more
Ellen Potter’s The Humming Room is a retelling...more
What I liked: Potter kept the "feel" of the original amazingly well, despite its modern setting. Some of the details she worked in were quite fun to discover (like the snake in the beginning, the hat on Mrs. Metzger's/Ms. Valentine's lap in the train, the tame squir...more
I loved this book. It is a fantastic retelling for fans of the story (and for fans of the movie who aren't strong enough readers...more
i'm always slightly creeped out by her stories but i love her connection with nature and fascinating characters such as Roo and Jack and
the name Roo Fanshaw is brilliant.
i just feel like saying it a lot. =D
so the book is beautifully written and i don't really remember The Secret Garden but i do recall it was a great adventure and reading the humming room w...more
Texas Bluebonnet Award/Nomination
Potter, E. (2012). The humming room. New York, NY: Feiwel and Friends.
At twelve years old, Roo Fanshaw has experienced more than most preteens. Her drug-dealing father and his latest girlfriend are killed, leaving Roo to foster care, until a previously unknown uncle sends for her. He lives on Cough Rock, a mysterious island where children with tuberculosis once were housed in a hospital he has renovated into a home. Eerily, ro...more
Things I will remember about this book: the ship flying through the trees, violent waves crashing together to make a calm surface, putting your ear to ground to listen for life, the way Ellen Potter's narrator talks to the reader at the very beginning and end of the story.
Roo has not had an easy life. In her short time on Earth she has known more hardship than many people ever do. After birth she was abandoned by her mother and although her father loved her and looked after her he was a drug dealer who was in and out of jail.
They were always moving to avoid the law, as well as those on the wrong side of the law...more