Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Humming Room

by Ellen Potter

Grade: 3 stars
Story: A retelling of The Secret Garden. Roo's parents were murdered, and she goes to live with her rich uncle--who is obviously hiding some big secret--in his huge, strange house on a remote island.

Thoughts: Ellen Potter is one of my favourite children's authors, and one of the few authors whose books I will buy immediately upon finding them, even if I haven't read them yet. Partly it's because her book covers are often illustrated by Jason Chan, who is my favourite cover artist ever. But all her books also have this sweet succinct style to them. And they are always original, even when they are retellings of familiar stories, like The Secret Garden in this case.

However, I do think this was one of my least favourite Ellen Potters--perhaps due to the fact that I love The Secret Garden so much that I was constantly comparing the two. But still, Roo is one of the best heroines I've read in a while. She's comparable to Mary from TSG in her stubbornness and unfriendliness, but she's definitely completely herself and no one else. She was one of the only parts that I didn't even really think to compare with the original. The "Dickon" and "Colin" characters were well done too, although I would have liked more of Philip, because I always liked Colin in TSG.

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