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The Secret Garden (Bantam Classic) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1987
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"This adaptation has its own special appeal. Although considerably shorter than the original, it remains faithful to the plot. Allen's oversize chalk drawings are handsome. Children sometimes pass over Burnett's story because by the time they are able to read it, they are no longer interested in the subject. For them, this adaptation will work well."—Booklist
From the Publisher
What secrets lie behind the doors at Misselthwaite Manor? Recently arrived at her uncle's estate, orphaned Mary Lennox is spoiled, sickly, and certain she won't enjoy living there. Then she discovers the arched doorway into an overgrown garden, shut up since the death of her aunt ten years earlier. Mary soon begins transforming it into a thing of beauty--unaware that she is changing too.
But Misselthwaite hides another secret, as mary discovers one night. High in a dark room, away from the rest of the house, lies her young cousin, Colin, who believes he is an incurable invalid, destined to die young. His tantrums are so frightful, no one can reason with him. If only, Mary hopes, she can get Colin to love the secret garden as much as she does, its magic will work wonders on him.
Top customer reviews
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You can sample the book as a Kindle freebie or in some other downloadable form, since it's out of copyright and readily available. Then, and better yet, after you read it and discover its pleasures, look for a nice edition to give to each young reader you know. There are easy to read books that are shallow, and there are harder to read books with considerable depth, but this one manages to be accessible to a fairly young reader and yet still loaded with fine writing, style, character, mystery, romance, adventure and inspiration. An excellent choice.
And while you're at it, take a look at Burnett's "Little Lord Fauntleroy". He's gotten a bad rap, (probably as a result of those Fauntleroy suits and haircuts that were the rage in the twenties), but he's actually smart , level headed, and shrewdly decent in unexpected ways. So go and get your Burnett on.
Princess is a whacking good story which allows the tale to rise above being a lesson in morals. Kids don't want to be preached to but given a good story and interesting characters they'll get the point subtly. But that is also true with adults.
Some reviewers have criticized the book because at the end of the story Becky went home with Sara as her maid. Author Burnett, however, is being true to 1899 London. The Cockney Becky could never be the equal of Sara Crewe the heiress. It's the way things were and to some extent the way things still are. Other reviewers have complained that Sara is too perfect. She is, however, too spunky to be insipid and she is certainly not goody-goody like Pollyanna. As a child reader I didn't regard her as too perfect nor do I now.
You will laugh at an old lady reading a children's book she hasn't read in 75 years But now I read as a literary critic and Princess is not wanting in the quality of its writing and the deft originality of the plot. Ms. Burnett can write with beautifully apt descriptions and a taut, quickly moving plot. She in no way dumbs down her prose when writing for children. She puts you into foggy London right away, and introduces Sara and her father to Miss Minchin's Seminary “where the very armchairs seemed to have hard bones in them” and Miss Minchin herself had “large cold fishy eyes and a large cold fishy smile.”
If you have any little girl in your family who has not read “The Little Princess” do pop the book into her Christmas stocking. She'll love it, trust me! And so will you!
Most recent customer reviews
Highly recommended. i would like to see the movies now.