The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman

The Theory of Hummingbirds is an uplifting story of a girl who just wants to be normal. Alba is born with a club foot, which she calls Cleo. She has had surgeries to correct Cleo and has had a cast for most of her life. At the start of the story the day that she gets her cast removed permanently is within sight and Alba really wants to be able to run in the school cross country. Her friend Levi is obsessed with space and he comes up with a theory that there is a wormhole in the school librarian’s office. She disappears from a locked room and Levi believes this is the explanation. Alba and Levi have been best friends forever but an argument pushes them apart. At a time when Alba needs her friend the most Levi won’t talk to her. When the day of the cross country arrives Alba is determined to prove that she can complete the course.

I loved Alba’s story. She wants to be ‘normal’ and she’s determined to prove that she can walk properly without crutches. I love her friendship with Levi and their shared love of hummingbirds. I also really love the school librarian character of Ms Sharma. This would make a great read aloud for Years 5-8, especially as it’s a short, engaging read. It’s perfect as a Wonder read-alike too.