From the Bookshelf of Mock Newbery 2018

The Humming Room
Start date
June 1, 2012
Finish date
June 30, 2012
What We Are Reading This Month
Why we're reading this
Chosen by our poll in May.

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Group Discussions About This Book

January 2018
By Barb · 4 posts · 47 views
last updated Jan 16, 2018 07:56AM
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* The Hunt Begins...
By Kristen · 223 posts · 766 views
last updated Jan 30, 2013 09:32AM

What Members Thought

May 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Almost four stars. I like Potter's writing and characters. This one didn't feel as risky (or as meaningful) as The Kneebone Boy (and now I can hear Peter Sieruta's voice in my head, saying "well, maybe I'll actually like this one, then; it's an intriguing premise, an updated version of The Secret Garden"). I loved the Secret Garden parallels in the first few chapters--the hiding, the being transported away to her uncle's place by the housekeeper/personal assistant--but rather wished that things ...more
Susan  Dunn
When we first meet 12-year-old Rue she is hiding under the trailer she calls home. Something terrible has happened and the police are looking for her. It turns out that she is now an orphan, which is not actually a bad thing in her case b/c up until this point her life has been one of neglect and abuse. The police discover that Roo has a wealthy uncle she never knew about, and she is shipped off to his mansion on Cough Rock Island (so named b/c the house used to be a sanitorium for children with ...more
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2012, children-s
Roo is not your average 12 year old girl. She has a narrow, bony face with a tight, dissatisfied mouth and dull green eyes, and is extremely small for her age. She often finds solace in tight, cramped hiding places. When her father dies, she is sent to live with her uncle who resides in an old children's hospital on a private island. After her initial misgivings about her new residence, she finds herself becoming even more in tune with nature through the island and its enchantment. When she stum ...more
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juv
This is a story that could easily be described as sweet, but that doesn't quite get to the heart of it. Being a story inspired by The Secret Garden, the potential sweetness of the story is balanced by the prickliness of the characters. Like Mary, Roo has been stifled by a hard life, but fortunately she lacks Mary's dislikable sense of entitlement. Roo lives a very internal life, preferring small, enclosed spaces and rarely feeling the need to interact with other people.

Instead of an isolated co
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Loved this book. It needs to be receiving more attention than it is currently! I was a big fan of The Secret Garden, and this book was spot on in language, tone, and pacing. Roo's character was fantastic.
Destinee Sutton
For thoughts on this being "inspired by The Secret Garden" see my review of The Secret Garden.

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.
Oct 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: upper-elementary
I was sorry Potter "wasted" her writing skills on a story so much like The Secret Garden.
She has some magical and interesting ideas here, I just wish the base of the story was more
Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I had to hold off reading this for months, because I've been at work on my own Secret Garden tribute (in a sense--though very different from this) and was afraid to be influenced by Potter. But wow, so glad I finally handed my book in, and so got to read it!

It's a gem of a book-- precise and spare and beautiful, and lonely. But also fun and adventurous. I loved it. It follows the classic pretty closely, but updated, and with some great twists.

It also had echoes of Great Gilly Hopkins in the begi
Kristin McIlhagga
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Lovely tribute to The Secret Garden yet still a beautiful story in it's own right. Lovely writing, particularly of Roo's character.
Karen Gibson
If you are a fan of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, you will love this updated version.
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-8-12
Beautifully written, but I was disappointed to find that it was not so much "inspired" by The Secret Garden as a rewrite of the exact same plot! I expected a few homages to the original story, but at times it felt like the dialogue was even the same. I think I would want my daughter to read The Secret Garden before reading this.
Roo has learned to be invisible. After her father is murdered, Roo goes to live with the uncle she never knew on Cough Rock Island. Her uncle is uninterested in her, but Roo doesn't mind. She keeps herself busy exploring the island and the life on it. While exploring, she stumbles across a hidden garden walled off from the home. Roo is determined to bring the garden back to life. Sound a bit familiar? This is a retelling of The Secret Garden. An enjoyable read, but the ending was a little weak.

Inspired by "the Secret Garden". I very close re-telling, actually. The first third of the book took me a while to figure out where we were located? Britain? US? Britain? The middle part had me wrapped up in the mystery and characterizations - I really liked Roo and Jack. The last third was so fast and ties up quickly and neatly it left me a little disappointed. Some really great moments of setting, though. Some great writing.
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved SLOB and sort of liked The Kneebone Boy, so I was really curious to know how The Humming Room would rate. Verdict - really, really liked it! Some great symbolism and good to look at characters changing over time. And a really nice "ladder" to possibly trying The Secret Garden.
Apr 14, 2012 rated it liked it
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: junior-fiction
May 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Dec 02, 2012 marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2012 marked it as to-read
Mar 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Astrid Lim
Dec 26, 2012 marked it as wishlist
Jan 07, 2013 marked it as to-read
Mar 05, 2012 marked it as to-read
Feb 24, 2012 marked it as to-read
Ellen Hinrichs
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Kris Springer
Jun 04, 2012 marked it as to-read
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