Hummingbird by Natalie Lloyd
Release Date: May 3, 2022
Why I love this book: Admittedly, I had a really hard time sitting down and writing my thoughts out. There were just too many. Too many things to try and cover, too many perfect little moments wrapped up in this story. Too many little things that deserve to be talked about, to be raved about... and it was overwhelming. I love books, that's a given, but this book? This book wedged it's way right into my heart and stayed there.
At the center of this story is Olive, a 12 year old with osteogenesis imperfecta, who dreams of going to regular school, of performing on stage, and finding her first real best friend. The problem is that people see her as fragile, as breakable. Even her family who love her and think she can do anything, still worry that by letting her take these big leaps might result in her falling. The thing here, that I love, is that every character is allowed to be afraid, they are given space to be sad and frustrated, to feel like things are too dangerous, or to hope so big that it might burst out of your chest. We get to stay with Olive for all of it, and it only makes the reader that much more invested in how it will all work out.
The other thing that I adore about this book is that magic is real. It's everywhere. The whole town knows there's magic in the hummingbird that comes to grant a wish, in the fall of feathers from the sky, that there's magic in the woods... they just have to believe. There's also magic in the library where therapy animals roam free and birds help you find your books. There's magic in music and words, and magic in friendship... and when you lay it out like that it might seem a little silly, but trust me when I say it's not. Lloyd weaves a tale that treats magic like the thread that holds the world together and it's more beautiful for it. It's just another resource that Olive and her friends use to find the hummingbird.
In the end this story is about so many things. Too many to put in one review. Ultimately it's a coming of age story about a girl named Olive who is deciding who she wants to be and going out to capture it. It's a story that I couldn't wait to put on the shelf for my students to read.
It only lasted 5 minutes before a 7th grader ran in, saw it on the shelf and yelled "I NEED this book!" I hope they all love it as much as I do.
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