The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman

 The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman, Pajama Press, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77278-035-2

Format:  paperback

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5

Genre: Realistic fiction

What did you like about the book? Alba and Levi are sixth graders, bird enthusiasts, and best friends. Alba has a clubfoot, which makes it difficult for her to walk, but she is recovering from surgery and eagerly anticipating the day when she can run in a race at school. Levi has asthma, and is convinced that the school librarian has a wormhole in her office which she uses for time travel. Somehow, the two plots merge smoothly.  Alba is frustrated that Levi is not more supportive of her dreams to run, and Levi is frustrated that Alba does not take his wormhole theory more seriously. Everything works out in the end, but in a way that feels natural and realistic. A glossary of hummingbird facts and an author’s note add dimension to the story. This is a sweet, gentle novel about friendship.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Read Alikes? Recommend to readers who are moving beyond early chapter books into middle-grade fiction. Also recommend White Fur Flying by Patricia MacLachlan and Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.

Who should buy this book? Elementary schools and public libraries should consider purchasing this book.

Where would you shelve it ?  Middle-grade fiction.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Not necessarily, although it is charming. If you are a hummingbird enthusiast, definitely give it a try.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA

Date of review: Oct. 31, 2017


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