The Secret Library of Hummingbird House
By Julianne Negri
Hattie Maxwell is trying to make sense of her life since the Big Split. It used to be the four of them - Mum, Dad, Ivy and Hattie - against the universe. But now it feels like she's a lone star in a big galaxy. And to make matters worse, her favourite place, Hummingbird House, is going to be demolished! Determined to stop the development, Hattie throws herself into uncovering the secrets of the house. Under a special full moon, she discovers that there is much more to the grand old mansion than first meets the eye… But will it be enough to save Hummingbird House? Or her family? A classic time-slip novel with a contemporary twist, THE SECRET LIBRARY OF HUMMINGBIRD HOUSE celebrates standing up for what you believe in, dealing with change and the unstoppable power of friendship.
This is a wonderful timeslip novel that is beautifully told and full of contemporary issues. Hattie’s life hasn't been going so great since her parents split up. And now it seems that the run-down local mansion that Hattie’s family have a strong connection to, Hummingbird House, is set to make way for high rise development. When Hattie visits the house in the middle of the night, she skips back to 1970 - back to a time when a girl her age, Hypatia, lived there. Hypatia is an incredible wordsmith, or keeper of lost words, and together they work to solve each other’s problems. Filled with great cast of characters like Ms Guide, the new librarian, and Ivy, Hattie’s five-year-old sister, who likes ghosts and maybe even lets them talk through her. This is a novel about standing up for what is right, trusting your friends and learning to adapt to change, as well as cleverly illustrating the importance of family and history. Hattie is such a warm, hopeful character who will appeal to readers 9 and older.
The Pony Question
By Jackie Merchant
The happiness of a young girl and a pony in desperate need of saving depends on the other. Essie doesn't believe in signs or wishing on stars. She likes facts, and the fact is, she's left her love of horses firmly in the past. She doesn't want a new horse and she certainly doesn't need one, not with the price she'd have to pay. That's a line she just won't cross. But the universe has other ideas. Essie may not need a pony, but there's a pony that needs her. But taking on a pony without a past brings a lot of unanswered questions, and in searching for answers Essie is going to have decide if to go forward, she is able to forgive the past.
Twelve-year-old Essie is establishing a new life in the country with her Mum, Francesca, whose furniture recycling business is just starting to take off. Then along comes an accidental purchase at auction of a neglected pony. Essie used to love riding, but that was two years ago - before her super-competitive Dad gave Essie’s horse a drug that got Essie banned from competition for a year. But now her Dad has remarried and moved on to a new life. Her Dad always wanted the best and the newest things. This neglected pony is far from that. Can Essie overcome her fear of being discarded too, and can the neglected pony help with that? This is a fantastic, horse story with so much more. It does touch on horsemanship and competition, but it is also a story of family values and seeing the goodness in people and animals. It has wonderful characters and a hopeful story with a great ending. Will most appeal to horse lovers aged 9 - 13 readers.