Hummingbird by Natalie Lloyd

Published by Scholastic

Summary:  Olive has been homeschooled her whole life due to her osteogenesis Imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, that means she spends most of her time in a wheelchair.  She longs to go to school, find a best friend, and maybe fulfill her dream of acting, so she’s thrilled when her parents agree to let her attend the local middle school.  After a rough first day, Olive begins to find her way, making a new friend named Grace, auditioning for the school play, and even connecting with her taciturn stepbrother Hatch, who is in her class.  When magical events foretell the return of a mysterious wish-granting hummingbird, Olive, Grace, and Hatch are determined to find the bird and make their wishes come true.  But life and magic are both unpredictable, and Olive has to learn to embrace some difficult turns of events and appreciate to the everyday magic that is already in her life.  Includes an author’s note telling about her own life with osteogenesis Imperfecta. 368 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  Olive is a spunky and indomitable narrator who doesn’t sugarcoat her disease, but who is also optimistic, loving, and appreciative of her family, friends, and community.  The magic realism adds a fun touch to the story.

Cons:  A little spunk can go a long way, and Olive occasionally seemed a little too good to be true. 

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