Hummingbird Season

Bloomsbury. Feb. 2024. 272p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781547612741.
Gr 2-4–When the world shuts down in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Archie struggles to adapt to school moving online. His older brother, Hank, seems to be thriving, and even gets to spend time with friends outside, but Archie feels increasingly alone and isolated, and doesn’t think that his teacher and his classmates care if he is in class or not. On top of that, the California wildfires make even the outside air dangerous for him to breathe because of his asthma. When he sees a hummingbird in his yard, he becomes fascinated with her and sets up feeders all around the house. Over time, the hummingbird becomes something that helps Archie find and build connections, both with his brother and with his class. Told in a series of free verse poems, this novel captures the confusion and isolation of the first year of the pandemic, especially for kids. The author uses the metaphor of being on mute in an online class to describe struggles that often go unheard, from the fears Archie’s classmates have about situations at home to the natural disasters caused by climate change. This book would make for a great lead-in to classroom discussions or writing prompts, giving kids the opportunity to share their own memories of lockdown.
VERDICT This beautifully written novel in verse offers a sensitive reflection on the pandemic and its emotional toll, even for those families who were able to stay healthy and financially stable during lockdown.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing