The Secret Library of Hummingbird House


Publication Date: 30 Jun. 2020
Format: Paperback / softback

ISBN 9781925870497

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    Hattie Maxwell is trying to make sense of her life since the Big Split. It used to be the four of them -- Mum, Dad, Ivy and Hattie -- against the universe. But now it feels like she's a lone star in a big galaxy. And to make matters worse, her favourite place, Hummingbird House, is going to be demolished! Determined to stop the development, Hattie throws herself into uncovering the secrets of the house. Under a special full moon, she discovers that there is much more to the grand old mansion than first meets the eye . . .

    But will it be enough to save Hummingbird House? Or her family?

    A classic time-slip novel with a contemporary twist, The Secret Library of Hummingbird House celebrates standing up for what you believe in, dealing with change and the unstoppable power of friendship.

    Information

    Book Type: Junior Chapter
    Age Group: 9 to 14 years
    Traffic Lights: Green/Amber
    Class Novel: Yes
    Good Reads Rating: 5/5
    Literary Rating: 5/5

    Review

    Hattie has her hands full trying to navigate her parent's separation, cope with her anxiety, and support her little sister Ivy. But when she discovers that Hummingbird House -- a local mansion featuring the beautiful tree in which she has celebrated her last four birthdays -- is about to be demolished, she knows she can't just let it happen.

    After sneaking out in the middle of the night, Hattie finds herself in an earlier time and befriends a mysterious girl named Hypatia who is living in the mansion. As her story intertwines with the current day, Hattie discovers that Hypatia is far closer than she ever imagined and their friendship will unearth something wonderful and save the mansion forever.

    Set in Melbourne, this lovely story -- while quite different -- has a similar feel to the much-loved classic Playing Beatie Bow.

    Amongst other things it offers brilliant vocabulary, a hidden library, a celebration of words and books and a diverse cast of characters. Hattie learns to fight for what she believes in and speak up for what she needs. A fabulous read, highly recommended.

    Favourite quote: There are so many words "¦ But even with all the words, so many things are hard to say. (p. 204)

    Themes

    family separation, mystery, yarn bombing, secret library, time slip, history, activism, courage, friendship, greed, corruption, epeolatry, refugees, multicultural community

    Content Notes

    1. List of "possible supernatural occurrences and unexplained phenomena' (it's a child's list written in their diary) (p. 85-87). 2. Ivy is referred to as "haunted' but this -- as are the rest of the unusual happenings in this story -- is very much along the lines of what happens in Playing Beatie Bow, rather than actually being supernatural or magical. 3. Oh my God x 1.

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