Originally released in 2017, this charming story of coming of age, believing in yourself and accepting other people, especially your friends, for who they are has lost nothing in the past three years.
The Theory of Hummingbirds opens the door wide into world of young people that are not considered as ‘normal’ for one reason or another. Alba was born with a ‘club foot’ which she calls Cleo. She has had several operations on Cleo over her short life to try and repair her leg, allowing her to be able to run.
Levi’s what could be called ‘nerdy’ as he has a scientific theory for everything, Stephen Hawking is his hero and he also has severe asthma, which makes it very hard for him to participate in many school activities.
He and Alba have been firm friends forever, spending their lunchtimes hanging out in the school library; they are also both obsessed with Hummingbirds, those tiny, beautiful, creatures that do not ever run as their feet are too tiny. They just perch.
One lunchtime Levi begins to act a little more strangely than usual and when Alba makes him explain what he is on about, he says he believes there is wormhole in the library, down which the librarian Ms Sharman disappears each lunchtime. The facts don’t really support the theory but Levi is convinced.
Alba has one more operation coming up and sets her heart on being able to run in the school Marathon, as she believes this final operation will make her foot strong enough to be able to complete; she won’t take no, or slow down, for an answer. Levi thinks she is dreaming big and won’t be able to run at all by then.
The two friends fall out, with bitter words being spoken and much unhappiness created, before they both have to accept that friends are that, friends and that friends support each other even when they don’t necessarily believe in their latest ‘theory’.
Not a long read, but beautifully crafted and presented, based on the young life of Michelle Kadarusman, the storyline has real charm, wrapped around a life lesson presented in such a way as to have a broad appeal to an age range that is beginning to come of age and often in need of greater understanding about the people and the world around them.