Sunday, January 22, 2023

Hummingbird by Natalie Lloyd - ADVISABLE

by Natalie Lloyd
, 368 pages. Scholastic. 2022. $18. 

Language: G (0 swears, 0 'f'); Mature Content: G; Violence: G. 



12yo Olive has been home-schooled and wants more than anything to go to Macklemore Middle School and find a BFF. But, Olive is "fragile” because she has osteogenesis imperfecta, otherwise known as brittle bone disease. Her mother is worried, her teachers are worried and even some of the students are worried, but she is allowed to go as long as she stays in her wheelchair, which adds a layer of protection. Her first day isn't great - all the kids avoid her and she has an aide who pushes her slowly around the building and won't let her choose where to eat lunch. She's thrilled to see there are play auditions, but the drama teacher won't even allow her up on the stage - and there is no ramp. But when a rumor that a magical bird may be back to grant a "once in a generation" wish, Olive hopes to find the bird, and prove herself worthy. 

I really loved the touch of magical realism, it was a great surprise and changed the story from being about Olive's frustrations at not fitting in, to a hopeful look at what it really means to be fragile. The friendships Olive builds feel genuine and sweet, and I loved her supportive - yet careful parents and I don't blame them for being protective. The author also has OI, so details about Olive's condition and feelings were perfectly authentic. I will certainly be buying a copy and letting my theater kids know about it. Olive is white. 

Lisa Librarian 

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