Humming Room

Readers Advisory

By the same author: Ellen Potter

Olivia Kidney (series). Twelve-year-old Olivia explores her new apartment building and finds a psychic, talking lizards, a shrunken ex-pirate, an exiled princess, ghosts, and other unusual characters. (

Slob. Picked on, overweight genius Owen tries to invent a television that can see the past to find out what happened the day his parents were killed. (

Pish Posh. Eleven-year-old Clara Frankofile sits in her parents’ elegant New York City restaurant, Pish Posh, and passes judgment on each customer as a Somebody or a Nobody, but her all-seeing eyes fail to observe the mysterious events occurring right under her nose. (

Spilling ink: a young writer’s handbook. After receiving letters from fans asking for writing advice, accomplished authors Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter joined together to create this guidebook for young writers. The authors mix inspirational anecdotes with practical guidance on how to find a voice, develop characters and plot, make revisions, and overcome writer’s block. Fun writing prompts will help young writers jump-start their own projects, and encouragement throughout will keep them at work. (

The kneebone boy. Otto, Lucia, and Max Hardscrabble, whose mother has been missing for many years, have unexpected and illuminating adventures in the village of Snoring-by-the-Sea after their father, who paints portraits of deposed monarchs, goes away on a business trip. (

This book inspired by:

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The secret garden. Ten-year-old Mary comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden. (

Fantasy Fiction: Attention Grabbing

Dahl, Roald. James and the giant peach. A fairy tale about James Henry Trotter, an unhappy little orphan who lives with his Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. Story tells of various adventures. (

Realistic Fiction: Character Driven

Giff, Patricia Riley. Eleven. When Sam, who can barely read, discovers an old newspaper clipping just before his eleventh birthday, it brings forth memories from his past, and, with the help of a new friend at school and the castle they are building for a school project, his questions are eventually answered. (

Giff, Patricia Reilly. Pictures of Hollis Woods. A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her. (

Hahn, Mary Downing. The old Willis place: a ghost story. Tired of the rules that have bound them ever since “the bad thing happened,” twelve-year-old Diana ignores her brother’s warnings and befriends the daughter of the new caretaker; setting in motion events that lead to the release of the spirit of an evil, crazy woman who once ruled the old Willis place. (

Martin, Ann M. A corner of the universe. The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie’s small town. (

Schmidt, Gary. Okay for now. As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends, an abusive father, and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him until he finds an ally in Lil Spicer–a fiery young lady. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon’s birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage. (

Spinelli, Jerry. Eggs. Mourning the loss of his mother, nine-year-old David forms an unlikely friendship with independent, quirky thirteen-year-old Primrose, as the two help each other deal with what is missing in their lives. (

Realistic Fiction: Plot Driven

Konigsburg, E.L. The outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place. Upon leaving an oppressive summer camp, twelve-year-old Margaret Rose Kane spearheads a campaign to preserve three unique towers her great-uncles have been building in their backyard for more than forty years. (

Mayhew, James. Secret in the garden. It’s a hot day and sitting outside is a girl who has just finished reading her favorite book, The Secret Garden. As she is about to fall asleep, a bird flies overhead and drops a key into her lap, and her adventure begins. The girl discovers a world of magic and friendship within the walls of her own secret garden. Children will love the process of discovery in this story, as they peek through the holes on every spread and turn the pages to reveal each hidden surprise…. (


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