Reader Reviewed The House on Hummingbird Island by Sam Angus

The House on Hummingbird Island

Written by Sam Angus

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

In a Nutshell: family secrets – ghosts – loss and love

This story of a young orphan girl feels part of a tradition going back to Eva Ibbotson, or even Frances Hodgson Burnett. It’s 1912 and Idie is a fierce young woman – with no parents she’s had to be – and she’s more than able to cope when she is suddenly called ‘home’ from England to the Caribbean Humming Bird Island, and installed as mistress of a grand old house. At first her closest companions are her horse and parakeet, but she soon makes friends with the people of the house and island, and they help her unravel the mystery of her family and past. With a cast of eccentric characters, a beautiful, exotic setting and drawing on overlooked but fascinating stories from history too, this is a rich and rewarding read. ~ Andrea Reece

Recommended for fans of Eva Ibbotson, Hilary McKay, Katherine Rundell and Michelle Magorian.

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Erica Motoc, age 10 - 'A sad, dramatic book, which keeps you in suspense at all times.'
  • Miranda Beinart-Smith, age 10 - 'I loved this book; it was packed with adventure, suspense and excitement! You never know what’s going to happen next, which just makes you want to read more!'
  • Emily Lonsdale, age 10 - 'Read it in a day! I loved this unusual tale :)'
  • Maya Watson, age 9 - 'I really liked this book as I was able to feel close to the characters, as if I was there with them...I would definitely recommend it to my friends.'
  • Jenna Welch, age 11 - 'Angus is an absolutely genius writer and I loved the character Idie Grace.  She is very wild and has a love for animals, she reminds me slightly of myself.'
  • Tariq Mustfa, age 10 - 'I found it very exciting. I felt extremely involved with the characters and I found it very difficult to put the book down because I was worried about what would happen to them.'
  • Sam Harper, age 11 - 'A story set on a tropical island that is happy, sad and full of exotic animals. I would love to live in a house like Bathsheba!'
  • Ruby Weyman, age 9 - 'It was a compelling story with an unexpected ending; I thoroughly enjoyed it.'
  • Brodie Greenslade, age 10 - 'A book more for fans of war stories than animal enthusiasts, I found The House on Hummingbird Island a little disappointing.'
  • Rosie, age 9 - 'I love the title of the book.  If you like animals read this book. The descriptions and Idie's love for the animals is lovely. I am 9 but would be better for someone 11ish.'
  • Faye Dawson, age 10 - 'Idie Grace with her free spirit, love of animals and disregard for adult authority is a grown up version of Pippi Longstocking - you'll love her!'
  • Rosie Watch - 'A beautiful story that grows with Idie, from a book of childhood colour and the daily excitement of an evolving menagerie to a story that is increasingly full of mystery and intrigue.'
  • Ellen Cox, age 9 - 'An incredible book that made me laugh and cry. A slightly difficult read but good all the same.'


The House on Hummingbird Island by Sam Angus

'We're going to a fine place,' Idie told Homer to console him, 'with gullies and monkeys and hummingbirds.'

Idie Grace is twelve when she inherits a grand old house on a Caribbean island, and is sent away from grey old England to a place where hummingbirds hover and monkeys clamber from tree to tree. As a lady of property Idie can do as she pleases, so she fills the house with exotic animals, keeps her beloved horse in the hallway, and carries a grumpy, talking cockatoo called Homer on her shoulder. But the island house holds as many secrets as it does animals, and the truth behind Idie's inheritance is the biggest secret of all ...

Perfect for fans of Eva Ibbotson and Katherine Rundell


This mysterious and historical tale has a fantastic heroine and a wonderful cast of characters. Packed with amazing details of the island wildlife, it will make you want to go on your very own tropical adventure. The Week Junior This beautiful book has a dream-like quality that will appeal to older children with a vivid imagination. Cotswold Life

About the Author

Sam Angus

Sam Angus has five children and eleven horses and splits her time between Exmoor and London (the horses stay very much on Exmoor). She has been an English teacher and a fashion designer, but is now focusing on writing full-time.

Of her first novel, Soldier Dog:

IS SOLDIER DOG A TRUE STORY? Some of the events of the life of Soldier Dog are drawn from the lives of two dogs, Airedale Jack and Satan, one a British messenger dog, the other a French messenger dog. Go to and read all about the historical context and the work of the dogs, as well as about the battle of Villers-Bretonneux. HOW MUCH RESEARCH DID YOU DO?
Years of research, mostly in the library of the Imperial War Museum. There is very little available written material on dog handlers in the first world war, mostly because they tended to be drawn from the country, from the world of hunting or faming, or fishing, so they were not on the whole, educated or likely to write much down. Go to for more about this.

Her 2nd novel is The House on Hummingbird Island.

Photo credit Nick Harvey

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Book Info


400 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Sam Angus
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Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Publication date

2nd June 2016




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