I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of The Humming Room, by Ellen Potter.
This book was an interesting and quick read. Quick both because it was entertaining, as well as because it is a short book (only 192 pages).
The length is nice for those intermediate readers who are just beginning to enjoy chapter books. The writing is also very clear. The descriptions are excellent, without getting too lengthy and without using exceedingly sophisticated vocabulary.
I found this book refreshing. It pays homage to The Secret Garden, (which is noted on the front cover), making it a great jumping point for children to become interested in the classics, particularly the writing of Frances Hodgson Burnett.
More than that, however, it was simply a book that I enjoyed reading. The characters are great - they seem real. Protagonist Roo Fanshaw is not a pretty princess; she is a kid with problems who is okay with being different, and partially lovable because of her faults.
Yet in the 192 page span of The Humming Room, Potter creates characters that are rounded. Roo grows, becoming well-adjusted, becoming more content with herself, without this process feeling too unrealistic (or just hokey). As a reader, I found myself liking Roo throughout the entire book, whether she was behaving herself or not.
This book is now available for sale. I strongly recommend picking it up, whether you have an intermediate reader in the family, or you are simply looking for a children's book to read, yourself.