Review: THE HUMMING ROOM by Ellen Potter

The Humming Room 
Ellen Potter
288 pages
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: February 28th, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: LIKED

Hiding is Roo Fanshaw’s special skill. Living in a frighteningly unstable family, she often needs to disappear at a moment’s notice. When her parents are murdered, it’s her special hiding place under the trailer that saves her life.

As it turns out, Roo, much to her surprise, has a wealthy if eccentric uncle, who has agreed to take her into his home on Cough Rock Island. Once a tuberculosis sanitarium for children of the rich, the strange house is teeming with ghost stories and secrets. Roo doesn’t believe in ghosts or fairy stories, but what are those eerie noises she keeps hearing? And who is that strange wild boy who lives on the river? People are lying to her, and Roo becomes determined to find the truth.

Despite the best efforts of her uncle’s assistants, Roo discovers the house’s hidden room–a garden with a tragic secret.

Inspired by The Secret Garden, this tale full of unusual characters and mysterious secrets is a story that only Ellen Potter could write

   When Roo Fanshaw’s parents are mysteriously murdered, Roo is sent to live with her rich Uncle she didn’t know she had. Now stuck in an island called Cough Rock, Roo’s new life is filled with mysteries and secrets, that Roo is determined to find out. Roo’s special skill of hiding makes her find new animal friends. Where is that mysterious tuneless humming coming from? Who is P. Fanshaw? Who is that wild boy in the canoe? Roo Fanshaw’s life has turned into a mystery too.

   The Humming Room isn’t really my type although some parts did capture my interest. The main character, Roo, is very determined and head-strong. Another good thing about Roo is that she doesn’t rush in to danger, she thinks of an escape plan in case something goes wrong. Roo was also a bit mean to other people before they even have a chance introduce themselves. But through it all, Roo also stuck up for herself, not like a person who would instantly go and hide when someone said a mean remark. However, the ending left me with some confusion about what happened to the people.

   One thing that I hate about some books are that they have way too many details which makes the book drag on, word after word, but in The Humming Room the amount of details that Ellen Potter displays is just right. The other characters in the book were very quiet most of the time. The cover is really nice bringing out the main character and making the background all blurry. I’d recommend this book for people who like mystery at every turn.

This review was written by my 11 year old sister, Asma! 

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.

February 16, 2012



  1. Reply


    February 17, 2012

    This sounds like a cute book. I have it on my TBR list. Thanks for the wonderful review Asma!!

  2. Reply


    February 17, 2012

    I always have trouble with books that weigh us down with detail after detail as well, so glad that's not a problem in this story! Too bad on the confusion at the end, I don't mind being a little confused sometimes, but I usually like to have a pretty clear understanding of what's happened when I finish a book:) Really nice review Asma!

  3. Reply


    February 17, 2012

    The title and the main character's name reminds me of The Hunger Games!

  4. Reply

    Mimi Valentine

    February 17, 2012

    Awww, this book sounds like so much fun! :) I can hardly stand books that drag on with too much detail either because it always slows down the flow of the book, so it makes me really happy that this book isn't like that! It takes a really good author to manage it, and it sounds like Ellen Potter has that skill down pat! ;)

    Awesome review, Asma! Even if this wasn't really your type of book, I'm really glad you enjoyed it overall! :)

  5. Reply

    Mary @ BookSwarm

    February 17, 2012

    Roo sounds like a great character–I like those who can stick up for themselves. And I agree, too many details can really bog down a story. Great review!

  6. Reply


    February 18, 2012

    I'm reading this one right now and so far find Roo very enchanting. Of course, I'm not that far into the story, so we'll see if I share you're point of view. I love where she is hiding in the beginning and what she has beneath her trailer.


  7. Reply


    February 26, 2012

    Awesome review i have this one on my shelf! Def reading it next!

  8. Reply


    May 17, 2012

    This book bought joy to my kids, this is their all time favorite book. I'm glad they liked it, they've never been to book reading, not till now. Nice blog by the way.

  9. Reply


    November 18, 2012

    Oooo….I like this cover. This sounds like a pretty good read too! I'll have to give it a try.

  10. Reply

    Claire M. Caterer

    April 16, 2013

    I loved the character of Roo, and the writing is so crisp and vivid in this book. Thumbs up!