Reviewed by Jessa Larsen

Roo Fanshaw gets through life by being skilled in hiding from the world. Her life and family are frighteningly unstable and thus she must survive by disappearing within a moment’s notice. When her parents are suddenly murdered, her excellent hiding skills are exactly what end up saving her life. Roo is then whisked away to live with her eccentric uncle on his mysterious mansion on an island. The house and island are filled with mysterious things… and people. It fills Roo with all sorts of questions. Who is the mysterious boy who swims the rivers? Why do the inhabitants of the house seem elusive and full of secrets? What is the tragic mystery behind the secret room?

Ellen Potter does a tolerable job at rewriting what she likes to call a story “inspired by The Secret Garden”. The Humming Room is well written and interesting enough, but it’s simply not what I would call inspired. It’s The Secret Garden with the names of people and locations changed up to something newly nonsensical.

I can see why young children reading this book might be entertained as it is definitely shorter than the original book, but I would advise simply picking up a copy of The Secret Garden and reading that instead. I would also like to suggest to the author that next time she writes something inspired by other fiction, to kindly change it up a bit more and make it something at least a tad more original.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, 2 sons, 2 cats, and 2 dogs. She goes to school full time as an English major with a focus in creative writing. She likes anime and reads books and plays video games in her moments of spare time.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Feiwel & Friends. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.