The House on Hummingbird Island

The House on Hummingbird Island

The House on Hummingbird Island
Sam Angus

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9781447263036

'We're going to a fine place,' Idie told Homer to console him, 'with gullies and monkeys and hummingbirds.' Idie Grace is twelve when she inherits a grand old house on a Caribbean island, and is sent away from grey old England to a place where hummingbirds hover and monkeys clamber from tree to tree. As a lady of property Idie can do as she pleases, so she fills the house with exotic animals, keeps her beloved horse in the hallway, and carries a grumpy, talking cockatoo called Homer on her shoulder. But the island house holds as many secrets as it does animals, and the truth behind Idie's inheritance is the biggest secret of all . . . Perfect for fans of Eva Ibbotson and Katherine Rundell

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Reviews

The House on Hummingbird Island5/5

The House on Hummingbird Island

Sam Angus

Review

'The air was soft and still as if once a spell was cast over the house that had forever enchanted it and left it there in shimmering dream-like beauty', this is how Idie rediscovers the house on Hummingbird Island after her twelve year absence. Sent to England to live with her grandfather, the spirited and utterly loveable Idie returns to the West Indies plantation home of her inheritance where she finds a menagerie of local wildlife, tales of ghosts and untold secrets about her mother and the past. Whilst Idie attempts to put together the puzzle of her family's history, she earns the respect of all around her and the friendship of Austin. Surrounding themselves with the animals of the island they build a haven that the dark secrets of the past greedily attempts to destroy. Idie's story spans several years and inevitably the effects of the first world war reach her tiny home. She watches as the men of the island slowly leave to serve and fight along side British comrades with the hope of earning for themselves respect and racial equality. Idie watches helplessly as she witnesses the opposite, discrimination of the worst kind, which effects the people she has grown to love. At the end of the war Idie is faced with a choice - does she return as mistress to her childhood home, or resolutely continue to forge a life in her Caribbean home? At the conclusion of the story, it is her unprejudiced care and consideration for others that proves to be the key that finally unlocks the story of her past and brings about a well earned resolution. Sam Angus's characters jump off of the page, either loveable or loathsome, making this book a throughly enjoyable read. The plot has great pace and the inclusion of letters to and from the characters makes for a well rounded addition to the story. A wonderfully written, poignant tale, so eloquently told about how the past can be healed through the sheer grit of a determined young spirit. Readers will adore Idie and the creative unfolding of this beautiful story. Ages 10+ / Reviewed by Emily Beale, school librarian

Reviewed by: Emily Beale


The House on Hummingbird Island5/5

The House on Hummingbird Island

Sam Angus

Review

The House on Hummingbird Island is a beautifully written and thoroughly enjoyable read for children and adults alike. Initially set a few years before the onset of WW1, free-spirited 12-year-old Idie Grace leaves the only family she's known to travel to the West Indies where she has inherited her mother's house and land - a mother who had sent her away to England as a baby. Preferring animals to humans, Idie creates her own world in her new home with a menagerie of companions. This is a magical yet realistic tale of growing-up, friendship, love, loyalty, tragedy and mystery as Idie seeks to discover the truth about her mother whilst claiming her place in her new community. Issues of colonialism, racism, class entitlement, mental illness, and loneliness are woven into the story with sensitivity, and the exotic setting is brought to life in stunning detail by the author. The characters are well-defined and the repercussions caused by the onset of the first World War on an island so far removed geographically are heart-felt. A poignant and heart-warming mixture of history, drama, adventure and mystery. 400 pages / Recommended for ages 10+ / Reviewed by Samantha Pett, school librarian.

Reviewed by: Samantha Pett


The House on Hummingbird Island5/5

The House on Hummingbird Island

Sam Angus

Review

This book takes the reader to a tropical island in the West Indies full of exotic wildlife and secrets. Idie at the age of 12 inherits a large estate on Hummingbird Island. She leaves her home in England where she has been cared for by relatives and soon after her arrival discovers there is a lot she doesn't know about her family. It is beautifully written and describes the vibrance of the island. The book could be considered for older readers as it involves adventure, humour and romance. The language could be challenging for younger readers, but the themes are not too difficult to understand. It also contains loss of childhood innocence, heroism and betrayal. I found it an enjoyable read, beautifully written and the history of life on the island interesting. 400 pages / Ages 10+ / Reviewed by Carol Burt, school librarian.

Reviewed by: Carol Burt