The Secret Garden

Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 5 - 10U6.380398

When Mary Lennox's parents die from cholera in India, the spoiled orphan is transplanted to her uncle's 600-year-old gloomy and secretive estate in England. She is certain that she is destined for misery at Misselthwaite Manor. When Mary meets the old groundskeeper, he is the first to tell her what he thinks of her: "We was wove out of th' same cloth. We're neither of us good lookin' an' we're both of us as sour as we look. We've got the same nasty tempers, both of us, I'll warrant." However, Mary soon discovers an arched doorway into an overgrown garden that has been locked shut since the death of her aunt ten years earlier. Fate grants Mary access to the secret garden and she begins transforming it into a thing of beauty-unaware that she, too, is changing.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published on September 1, 2011 by Barnes & Noble Inc
ISBN-10: 1435133447
ISBN-13: 9781435133440
85 Book Reviews
  • iambookworm
    iambookworm3 months
    I've only read half of the book, I'm not even sure this is the book I'm thinking it is, mine has a different cover. These may not be the same but here is my description of the one I am thinking about (part of it) : Mary is a spoiled girl and when her parents are murdered their servants fleed and abandoned Mary. ( That's all I remember ) :D
    • adroit_avimimus
      adroit_avimimus4 months55 stars
      “Two worst things as can happen to a child is never to have his own way - or always to have it.” As a child, I read this book at least four or five times, along with Frances Hodgson Burnett's other childhood stories about Sarah Crewe (Little Princess) and Cedric (Lord Fauntleroy). They represented a rite of passage for me as a person and as a reader. There is magic involved in coming-of-age stories where children strive to find the kind of life they are meant to live, against all odds, and I felt deeply satisfied each time I closed one of those books, knowing that the protagonists had (once again) made it through various challenges to live a better, more natural and fulfilled life. Some childhood classics are better left alone later, signifying a certain phase that can only be "demystified" by rereading, leading to bitter disappointment and loss of the initial enchantment. I hadn't touched The Secret Garden for a long while, as I feared the slightly exaggerated, dramatised plot might put me off, and destroy the magic of my memory. Many children and teenagers appear phlegmatic, angry, frustrated, lacking initiative to learn and develop, and they demand unreasonable attention without showing any willingness to commit to tasks themselves. We could not make sense of it, seeing that these students had "everything they needed, and more", and met with no restrictions or boundaries from their parents. Shouldn't they be happy? But they aren't That's when The Secret Garden came to my mind again, - an early case study of childhood neglect in wealthy environments, in which children's physical and material needs are met, but their psychological development is completely left untouched. In The Secret Garden, it is the poor, but well-raised and deeply loved local boy who shows the spoiled, unhappy upper class children how to take on a responsible role for their life, and how to make active and positive decisions rather than throwing fits to let others step in and take over. Just like a flower in a garden, a child needs both space, time and air, and a lot of nurturing, to blossom. I am grateful for the connection I found between my childhood reading pleasure and the everyday worries I face in my profession. A smile, a word of encouragement, a nudge in the right direction, all the small signs that show students that their teachers believe in their power to achieve great things - that's the magic of everyday life. And giving in to their tantrums is not helping those sensitive plants grow. It is stifling their development. When they claim they are too "tired" or "bored" to read The Secret Garden, and prefer to watch a movie version (if at all), they are in more dire need of overcoming the obstacle of long-term under-stimulation than the protagonists of the story itself. They need to be trained to love reading just like the two unhappy children in the mansion needed to be trained to show interest and care for the garden. Responsibility and care are acquired skills!
      • chihiroxhaku30
        chihiroxhaku304 months55 stars
        Great book! I first read this by myself in 2nd grade, and it took me over a month! It's about a 4th-5th grade level. It's a really good book, but parts of it would be offensive in today's society.
        • lunae
          Luna E7 months55 stars
          Mary Lennox's parents die and she goes to England then her friend a robin shows her a key to a secret garden she meets new friends and her looks and personality start changing.
          • silverstream77
            silverstream778 months55 stars
            I love this book. You need to read it! Full of exciting events and vivid details, this book is one you need on your shelf!
            • zstella10
              zstella1010 months55 stars
              I love this book. I read it on paper and OMG is amazing you guys have to read it. I'd give it six stars if i could.
              • Marielysover 1 year
                Umm it’s a excellent book there is a movie about it u should watch it it’s amazing if u are low level read 2 pages and if u don’t understand get another book
                • SECRET GARDENover 1 year
                  Good Book
                  • SECRET GARDEN almost 3 years
                    Good book
                    • SECRET GARDEN almost 3 years
                      Good book