For an orphan child whose life is filled with comfortable, predictable sameness, with no particular hardships, life is, well, all right. Really, what does Mandy have to worry about? So it comes as a surprise even to Mandy when a small restlessness begins to grow in her. This lonely ache sets her to wandering farther afield, and leads her to a startling and wonderful discovery over the orphanage wall--a very old, very small, seemingly abandoned cottage. Embarking on a clandestine domestic fantasy involving gardening tools and soap flakes, Mandy finds herself being less than honest about where and how she's spending her days. Holding her secret closer and closer to her heart, this imaginative dreamer inadvertently endangers her reputation--and her life.
For every child who has fallen in love with The Secret Garden or A Little Princess, Julie Andrews Edwards's 1971 novel will be a heartwarming discovery. Any sometimes-lonely child with a giant imagination will recognize Mandy's dreams and rejoice in her ultimate fairy-tale happy ending. Judith Gwyn Brown's Edward Gorey-esque pen and ink drawings (with none of Gorey's sinister air) are quietly memorable. Fans of Julie Andrews Edwards--Sound of Music star of stage and screen--will be thrilled to see her latest children's book, Little Bo: The Story of Bonnie Boadicea, or to an earlier favorite, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie Coulter
"Beautifully written, sensitive. A joyous novel." -- -- Language Arts