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The Secret Hum of a Daisy

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Twelve-year-old Grace and her mother have always been their own family, traveling from place to place like gypsies. But Grace wants to finally have a home all their own. Just when she thinks she's found it her mother says it's time to move again. Grace summons the courage to tell her mother how she really feels and will always regret that her last words to her were angry ones.

After her mother's sudden death, Grace is forced to live with a grandmother she's never met. She can't imagine her mother would want her to stay with this stranger. Then Grace finds clues in a mysterious treasure hunt, just like the ones her mother used to send her on. Maybe it is her mother, showing her the way to her true home.

Lyrical, poignant and fresh, The Secret Hum of a Daisy is a beautifully told middle grade tale with a great deal of heart.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published March 1, 2014

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Tracy Holczer

3 books84 followers

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5 stars
1,091 (38%)
4 stars
1,037 (36%)
3 stars
508 (18%)
2 stars
119 (4%)
1 star
55 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 491 reviews
Profile Image for Regan.
446 reviews109k followers
June 9, 2023
I looooooved this story! Absolutely beautiful! I story about healing, family, and finding a place to call home.
Profile Image for Dan Gemeinhart.
Author 18 books1,270 followers
October 8, 2014
This is a beautiful, powerful book.
It tackles, delicately but profoundly, the loss of a parent and how a child can heal and move forward into some sort of new life. It's about making peace with the past, making sense of the present, and making meaning of the future.
The characters in this book will stick with me for some time to come. They are skillfully brought to life by the author, who manages to make them live and breathe and ache and heal in an utterly convincing and affecting way.
Now, this book may not be for all readers. It deals with intense, internal, emotional issues. Some readers don't connect with that kind of book. But for those that do, this book will be one they cherish. For kids who have dealt with death - or whom have friends that have - reading this book will be an experience, not just a story. It will be important. For those kids, this will be a six star book.
This is a book that you press gently into the hands of kids that you know need it, with the quiet confidence that it is just the book for them. And they will love it.
I am stunned that this book is a debut novel. It is masterfully written, in all its beautiful complexity and emotional resonance. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from the author, and can't wait to buy several copies for my K-5 library. And you can put me on the waiting list now for her next book, whatever it turns out to be.
Profile Image for Laima.
207 reviews
July 7, 2014
I won this book from Goodreads ...

... and really enjoyed it!

This is a beautifully written story by first time author Tracy Holczer.
A wonderful middle grade book about a young girl named Grace who tragically loses her beloved mother but discovers family she never knew. Her sadness and anger slowly change to acceptance as she learns more about her grandmother and her mother's past.

This book is as precious as "Daisy" in the story.

Thank you to Penguin Canada for sending me an advance reading copy.
Profile Image for Brooke.
746 reviews354 followers
May 24, 2015
"Take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life. You were only waiting for this moment to arise." - The Beatles

This song was in my head the whole entire time while reading this book.

This book was very good. I didn't know much about it going into it which I really liked. I was surprised at how beautifully written it was and the metaphors with the cranes was something very unexpected. A very beautiful and touching story!!
Profile Image for Edith.
Author 3 books183 followers
March 27, 2014
A beautifully written story about losing a parent and the guilt and denial that comes with it. It's about family and home and building a new life with Grandma in the After.
Profile Image for Aeicha .
832 reviews101 followers
March 31, 2014
Tracy Holczer’s The Secret Hum Of A Daisy is a powerfully poignant middle-grade contemp, full of love, heart, honesty, hope, and beautiful writing.

Twelve year old Grace’s mom has always kept them on the move, never staying in one place too long. Grace believes they’ve found their forever home with Mrs. Greene and Lacey, but her mother says it’s time to go. The two argue and Grace’s last words to her mother are angry, sad ones. After her mother’s death, Grace is sent to live in her mother’s small hometown with a Grandma she’s never met. Full of grief and anger, Grace refuses to get to know her Grandma or new town and hatches a plan to get back to her beloved Mrs. Greene and Lacy. But when Grace discovers a clue, she’s sure her mother is somehow leading her on a treasure hunt and back to where she belongs.

The Secret Hum Of A Daisy is such a breathtakingly felt book! Palpable and soul-deep, Tracy Holczer’s story of grief, love, and family fully consumed me from page one and well beyond the end. With lyrical storytelling, heart-aching emotion, and very real characters, The Secret Hum Of A Daisy is definitely an important page-turner.

The lovely, lyrical writing simply floats off the page, wrapping itself around readers. There is stunning magic in Holczer’s words and her ability to express and capture so much emotion. Grace’s story is a wonderfully woven and immensely felt one. Holczer deftly and beautifully explores grief, depression, heart-ache, disappointment, and so much more, in a way that feels honest and genuine, but appropriate for a middle-grade audience. I love how Holczer uses the smartly crafted treasure hunt and clues to gently guide Grace on her emotional and coming-of-age journey. This treasure hunt allows both Grace and readers to get to know and appreciate Grace’s new town and the people in.

And the people in this town and book are one of the reasons why I love The Secret Hum Of A Daisy so much! Holczer does a fantastic job of writing complex, well-developed characters who feel very real and very relatable. From feisty Grace, to her surprising Grandma, sweet Jo, endearing Mummy Max, motherly Mrs. Greene, and a town full of quirky, unforgettable people, there are so many characters to fall in love with.

My Final Thoughts: The Secret Hum Of A Daisy made me laugh and cry, moved and inspired me, left me thoughtful and hopeful, but I don’t think it will ever really love me. Author Tracy Holczer has written a truly special story that is bound to leave its magical mark on many readers!
Profile Image for Catherine Linka.
Author 4 books126 followers
December 18, 2013
Set aside a few evenings to read this story so that you can savor it. The story of Grace's search to find home after the death of her vagabond mother, is so perfectly crafted that you will want to linger over lines that are particularly beautiful.

This is a story about loss, but it is also a story about finding your way and creating a family for yourself within a community. I loved this book and I hope the Newbery committee does, too.
Profile Image for Miriam.
172 reviews8 followers
May 8, 2014
Slow-moving and sometimes painfully poetic, this book inches toward its foregone conclusions. I can't see many young readers sticking with it, though it seems to have gathered a lot of adult admiration.
Profile Image for Susan.
221 reviews8 followers
June 5, 2014
My heart is full from reading this beautifully crafted story of loss, friendship, family, and finding your way when the world seems to have been turned upside down. The plot captures you from the very first line, the characters envelop your heart, and the setting makes you feel like you've found home. When I reached the last page, I returned to the start, not wanting to say goodbye to Grace. Beautiful from beginning to end...and more post-it noted passages than I had post-it notes! The "secret hum" of this lyrical prose will stay with me for a long time.

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order THE SECRET HUM OF A DAISY on IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/978039...
Profile Image for Donalyn.
Author 8 books5,917 followers
January 10, 2015
Although I bought it went it came out, I've avoided reading this book because I knew it was sad. I wasn't in the mood for it. It is sad. I cried through parts. Secret Hum of a Daisy is a lovely, quiet book about family, loss, and how creative expression can heal. Remarkable book.
Profile Image for Trish.
403 reviews30 followers
July 9, 2017
This book is so special! It's a beautiful story about loss, grief, and growth! I cried .....a lot(a ridiculous amount tbh) but every tear was worth it to get me to the end of the story. This is a book that will forever be imprinted in my heart. I hope that everyone who picks this up will enjoy it as much as I did and take away the warmth and love that wrapped itself around me
Profile Image for Jessica.
262 reviews3,560 followers
April 6, 2016
*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This book was so endearing. This is labeled as a middle grade novel probably because the main character is twelve, but she definitely didn't act that young. I couldn't imagine being only twelve and being an orphan (since her dad died before she was born.) Then, she was ripped from her current home and into the home of a grandma that she had never met. This was the same grandma that had forced her own mother out of the door when she was seventeen and pregnant. I'm sure I would have reacted very similarly to twelve year old Grace.

I really enjoyed the parts that involved Beauty and Daisy, and Joe and Max. I also really liked learning more about Grace's grandma and I loved seeing Grace's opinion of her change. This book was full of very interesting characters.

I really enjoyed reading about Grace and her love of writing and art. I felt myself reaching out to her and hoping that she would find the home she deserved. I found the writing beautiful and this book definitely brought a few tears to my eyes. I really enjoyed the ending and felt a lot of closure (which I always love.)

I definitely recommend this touching book!
Profile Image for OwlBeReading.
330 reviews9 followers
June 24, 2017
This was a very cute book that was thoroughly enjoyable. I like the character development of her grandma and Grace herself. I think that the writing was quick paced and everyone knows how much I love short chapters so that's also a plus. Finding out that her grandma was the deliverer of the different treasures and not any other character was sort of a letdown but I did see how the author was trying to find a way to really bring Grace and her grandma together. I wish that they could have explained more about her mother's actual death because all I know is that she hit her head in a river I think and it was very confusing. Overall I thought it was very cute, good summer read, and highly recommend to light readers who enjoy sweet standalone novels.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for CuteAsAMuntin.
62 reviews2 followers
May 5, 2017
Somewhere between the melancholy of rain falling on a stream and the sense of rightness on a sunny day in California. Maybe a little bit of both. A young girl's search for answers using clues she believes to be from her dead mother leads her instead into a new home and into herself. The combination of poetry, astounding imagery, and words that are appropriate to the age and situation of the narrator creates a book that both adults and young adults will be able to take something from.
Profile Image for Carrie Gelson.
1,242 reviews72 followers
August 18, 2014
I will start by saying that I cried through the last third of this book. Tears because of the beautiful writing and imagery. Tears because of being right in the middle of the grief. But also tears because healing arrives. The characters are fantastic. The setting unique. Just a beautifully done story.
Profile Image for Jaye.
Author 9 books447 followers
December 7, 2013
Absolutely gorgeous gem of a middle grade. Full of heart and hope and tears. Holczer skillfully unfolds her MC's emotional arc on the rusted wings of birds, the bright petals of daisies, and the soft velvet muzzle of a newborn foal. A beautiful read.
Profile Image for Jane.
189 reviews18 followers
July 17, 2014
I absolutely loved this book. Grace and her family and friends will stay with me for quite some time. .While the story was very real, there was just enough magic to be uplifting. This book would pair wonderfully with A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd.
Profile Image for Sammi.
8 reviews
May 23, 2023
Cute coming of age story for young teens/preteens, I’m too old to relate to the story anymore but it was still a cute and easy read. 3 stars for me personally but would be great for a preteen
October 28, 2016
"If only words could build a path to where you are." I read the book "The Secret Hum Of A Daisy" and the genre of the book is realistic fiction. This book is one of my personal favorites.

This book takes place in San Diego during the school year. This is important to the story because Grace's mom dies and she has go live with her grandma that she has never met before so she doesn't want to go because she has heard unpleasant and terrible stories about her grandma. This book is about a girl named Grace who's mom dies and has to go live with her grandma that she has never met. Grace's mom made cranes out of random objects and turned them into a scavenger hunt and place them around town. So, when Grace gets to her grandma's house she finds a clue in a crane her mom made before she died, and though out the book Grace follows the clues she finds along with paper cranes.The conflict of the story would be person versus self because Grace is telling herself that her mom is leaving her clues for a scavenger hunt.

A major event that changed the character is, at the beginning of the book Grace talks about how her mom would make birds out of random items and leave clues in them. So, then her mom would place these birds around town sending Grace on a scavenger hunt basically. When Grace then goes to her grandmas house she finds a bird her mom had put a clue in before she died, so Grace follows the clue that leads to buildings and locations around the city and thinks her mom is sending her messages from heaven. This changes Grace because even though she doesn't want to be with her grandma she is kind of glad she went because she would have never been able to find her moms messages. A major symbol in the story is a crane. This is because Grace's mom made cranes and that is where Grace found the first clue once she got to her grandma's house, and as she finds more clues she finds origami paper cranes all over town.

I think "The Secret Hum Of A Daisy" is an appropriate title because through out the book Grace is looking for theses clues which are basically secrets to her because she doesn't know about them or where they are going to be. Also she searches for a secret meadow and like a meadow of daisies and a garden of daisies. I like the concept of this book and the whole story. I like how the author wrote the book to be something that is partially possible but is also not likely to happen but the author makes it seem like it is something that is common.

I rate the book 4 out of 5 stars. I rate this book this way because the book has great story line, but I did not like how Grace acted so selfish and rude and disrespectful towards her grandma when she gets there. I understand why she would be upset but she could have been nicer and could have not done all the pranks and tricks that she did. I would recommend this book to someone who likes books about families and to someone who likes mysteries but very subtle mysteries.

Profile Image for Jasmyn Oliveros.
5 reviews32 followers
February 7, 2017
***Spoiler Alert*** Can you imagine how it feels to have someone you love like your mom die and have to live a person you have never met and a house you have never been to. The Genre of The secret hum of daisy is Realistic Fiction. This book is really good and one of my favorites.

For all of Grace's life it has just been her and her mom. One day Grace's mother passed away. So she was sent to live with her grandmother but she has never met her because when Grace's mother was pregnant with her mom kicked her out. When Grace was born all they did was search for a place to call home. When she is sent to live with her grandmother she plans to annoy her, not eat, dirty things, and not change clothes so her grandmother would send her to live with her neighbor and best friend Lacey. Every Sunday Lacey and Grace would call each other but one day when she tried to call there was no answer. She finally gets used to living with her grandmother and sees signs of her mother and father everywhere. She makes new friends and likes them.

The setting adds to the conflict because when Grace's mother died she was sent to live with her grandmother but she has never meet her or been to her house or never been to that house. So one of the conflict is that she is sent to live with her grandmother but she doesn't like it at the beginning. A major event that changed the main character was when her mother died and she was sent to live with her grandmother. The theme is not to judge a book by its cover or not to assume to quickly

I was surprised when Lacey didn't answer Grace's call, and Grace even wrote a letter to Lacey saying how she loves it there but they are still good friends. I thought the ending of the book was good because she finally realized she was home and what the poem had meant to her. I was happy whenever she finds clues about how her mother was before she had Grace.

I would rate the book 5 stars because I loved how she didn't even want to go live with her grandmother but when she did she realized it was home. I would recommend this book to people who like books about not to judge a book by its cover. The Secret Hum of a Daisy is about a girl finally finding her way home.
Profile Image for Terri.
703 reviews20 followers
June 25, 2014
Review also found at http://kristineandterri.blogspot.ca/2...

I received a copy of this book by entering and winning a Goodreads giveaway. In return I will give an honest review.

This story is marketed as a middle grade tale however I think that by doing so that there is a greater population of readers who may miss out or skip the opportunity to read this gem. The theme of love, loss and home reaches a far greater audience then the younger readers. These themes are common to all people regardless of age and I know this story will be enjoyed by older readers as I enjoyed it.

The story details Grace's journey of finding her place in the world and finding herself in the aftermath of the death of her mother. We are along for the journey as she struggles to define what home means to her and learns how to let people in to her life.

I won't detail the plot of the book as I feel the synopsis explains it well. I will say that it is a touching and emotional story that I really enjoyed. Also Holczer's writing flowed easily and made it a nice relaxing read despite its somewhat heavy topic. I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a nice understated coming of age story.
Profile Image for Susan  Dunn.
1,858 reviews
July 7, 2014
I really liked this one! After Grace's mother's sudden and unexpected death, Grace is sent to live with the grandmother she has never known. She doesn't want to be there, and does her best to be a brat so that her grandma will let her go back to live with her best friend. But in spite of herself, Grace becomes attached to the small town where her mother grew up, and all of the people that knew and loved her parents. As Grace grows to accept and then love her new life and the woman who has taken her in, the reader laughs and cries with her. This one is sad and funny and touching. I felt like once I'd finished I wanted to go back and read it again it was so good! For fans of Love, Aubrey and Pictures of Hollis Woods.
Profile Image for Karen Arendt.
2,671 reviews12 followers
July 5, 2014
Poetically written, this is the story of 11-year-old Grace and how she has to come to terms with her mother's death. Grace holds onto her anger toward her grandmother she has never met like a coat of armor. Even as Grace lives with her grandmother, she is cruel to her. Grace has moved fourteen times with her mom, and each time, mom would set up a treasure hunt to learn about the new town they lived in. Grace thinks her mom has left one last treasure hunt after her death- Grace sees signs everywhere. As Grace tries to close herself off from everyone in town that wants to help her, she begins to find her way. This is a heartbreaking story while at the same time full of promise for the future.
Profile Image for Robin Herrera.
Author 5 books40 followers
August 12, 2014
"A lyric about love and loss." So says Richard Peck on the cover of this magnificent book. It's rare to find a novel that takes such care with its characters. I loved every character in this book, and what I loved most about them was that I couldn't predict what any of them would do. They were total surprises.

I also really loved the poetry, especially the poem from which the title gets its name. Tracy Holczer is an excellent poet!

Profile Image for Tammy.
144 reviews2 followers
August 9, 2016
This is a story of self-discovery. Many teenagers struggle when their previously held convictions are challenged by the real world. Grace thought she knew all about herself and her mom, and then her world was turned upside down. It's a tough journey, but worth the trip.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 491 reviews

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