When I was ten, I would have devoured this gem of a book, several times over!
The Secret Library of Hummingbird House features a mysterious old house, a secret book and time travel (amusingly, back in time to the 1970’s when I was ten)! What’s not to love?
Especially when it’s all wrapped up with a very likeable protagonist, Hattie, going through some stuff with her recently separated parents, a younger sister with an imaginary eagle as a friend, a best friend who will no doubt realise he is gay when he is a little bit older and a mean girl at school to avoid at all costs.
Hattie already feels that life is careening out of her control, when she discovers that the crumbling mansion next door to her dad’s house is slated for demolition to make way for…you guessed it, another apartment block. The house and the ancient mulberry tree growing in its grounds, hold many happy family memories for Hattie, pre-separation.
Her plans to save the house lead to a full-moon midnight escapade to the house and a chance to slip back in time to meet another young girl also feeling lost in time. A young girl who also collects lost words and has a story of her own to tell.
Set in a pre-covid Melbourne with a secret yarn-bomber covering the trees, fences and signs with crochet wraps, Julianne Negri has written a story about standing up for yourself and letting go of the past. Adapting to the inevitable changes that occur in all our lives at every stage is the thread that joins all the characters together. Everyone has their own way of avoiding or denying change before coming around to accepting that change doesn’t have to be all bad, it’s just different.
A delightful read for 10+ readers. Lots of fun and full of positive messages woven naturally into the story.