Secret Garden: A Young Reader's Edition of the Classic Story

Secret Garden: A Young Reader's Edition of the Classic Story

4.1 1560
by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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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…  See more details below


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.

Editorial Reviews

Four to Fourteen
[Neglected Colin] lives the life of a spoilt and incurable invalid until the arrival of an orphaned cousin. The two children secretly combine to restore his mother's locked garden and Colin to health and his father's affection.
Publishers Weekly
A new series, "Storytime Classics," introduces four timeless stories retold by Janet Allison Brown to the picture-book crowd. Full-bleed and spot illustrations carry the stories, with text in large type In The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, both by Frances Hodgson Burnett, illus. by Graham Rust, the heroines' kind-heartedness and perserverence shines through. Mole, Ratty, Toad and Badger embark on their adventures in The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, illus. by Joanne Moss, and in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, illus. by Dinah Dryhurst, readers meet the four March sisters. (June) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Janet Allison Brown retells the story of the secret garden in this simplified and abridged text of the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The integrity of the story line has been kept but the text has been shortened to keep the attention of younger children. Mary Lennox is a young girl who is sent to live with her uncle when her parents die. She discovers a mysterious hidden garden and uses that garden to teach her cousin to walk. Her uncle, who is out of town, returns to find happiness once again in his home. The lesson taught is that happiness can be found in one's own backyard. The illustrations in this picture book are lifelike and intriguing. This version will become a favorite of younger children, and a perfect way to introduce the classic story to younger readers. 2001, Penguin, $5.99. Ages 5 to 8. Reviewer:Nicole Peterson
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Ten year old Mary comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden. This story has never lost its charm; delicate color work and pencil drawings provide nostalgic representations of another time.1993 (orig.)
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
Exquisite ink and watercolor illustrations grace this beautiful edition of the classic story of two children who are given all the material goods available. A young girl, Mary, who has foot-stomping tantrums when she does not get her way, and a young lad, Colin, who has been convinced he is ill and takes out his ill humor on those around him, are thrown together, and their lives are forever changed. Mary, who has come to live with relatives after the death of her parents, explores the mysteries of Misselthwaite Manor, the estate which is the home of her Uncle Archibald Craven and his son, Colin. She is befriended by Dickon, the brother of her housemaid and comes to share his love of nature. She finds the key to a secret garden on the estate, and Dickon teaches her how to tend a garden. Both she and Colin bloom right along with the flowers. The tale is magical, mystical, and idealistic. Many of the children who read it will long for a special, hidden-away spot of their own, a longing that will remain with them even as some details of the story may fade. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6- First published in 1911, Burnett's tale of burgeoning self-awareness, newfound friendship, and the healing effects of nature is presented in an elegant, oversize volume and handsomely illustrated with Moore's detailed ink and watercolor paintings. Cleanly laid-out text pages are balanced by artwork ranging from delicate spot images to full-page renderings. The outdoor scenes are beautifully depicted, presenting realistic images of animals and flowers, with the hues gradually warming in sync with the story's progression from winter's browns and beiges to the lush colors of spring. The young protagonists-lonely Mary Lennox; her sickly and spoiled cousin, Colin; and likable local lad Dickon-bound to life in the evocative paintings, which reflect the wonders of transformations in both nature and in a child's heart. All in all, a lovely interpretation.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal

Allen Cadwallader
Wanda McCaddon's obvious love of the characters and her authentic British accents—the gentrified and broad Yorkshire—turn this into a family listening delight.
USA Today
Kirkus Reviews
In this bad version of a bad idea, the richly developed classic novel has been squeezed into the picture-book format. Resembling the bald summary of an opera plot, the story in its reduced state is all but a cliche: An orphaned girl finds a neglected garden and a neglected cousin and restores them both with the aid of the housemaid's young brother. Collier's full-color paintings take advantage of the opportunities for flora and fauna as the garden responds to cultivation and to the turning seasons, but the children's figures seem pasted into the space, and the scenes lack warmth. (Picture book. 4-8)

From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly Soothing and mellifluous, native Briton Bailey's voice proves an excellent instrument for polishing up a new edition of Burnett's story.

Children's Literature This version will become a favorite of younger children, and a perfect way to introduce the classic story to younger readers.

School Library Journal A reissue of an old classic to be treasured by a new generation of children (and their parents)! USA Today - Allen Cadwallader

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Product Details

Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Publication date:
Tor Classics
Edition description:
Complete and Unabridged
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.85(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It was true, too. She had a little thin face and a little thin body, thin light hair and a sour expression. Her hair was yellow, and her face was yellow because she had been born in India and had always been ill in one way or another. Her father had held a position under the English Government and had always been busy and ill himself, and her mother had been a great beauty who cared only to go to parties and amuse herself with gay people. She had not wanted a little girl at all, and when Mary was born she handed her over to the care of an Ayah, who was made to understand that if she wished to please the Mem Sahib she must keep the child out of sight as much as possible. So when she was a sickly, fretful, ugly little baby she was kept out of the way, and when she became a sickly, fretful, toddling thing she was kept out of the way also. She never remembered seeing familiarly anything but the dark faces of her Ayah and the other native servants, and as they always obeyed her and gave her her own way in everything, because the Mem Sahib would be angry if she was disturbed by her crying, by the time she was six years old she was as tyrannical and selfish a little pig as ever lived. The young English governess who came to teach her to read and write disliked her so much that she gave up her place in three months, and when other governesses came to try to fill it they always went away in a shorter time than the first one. So if Mary had not chosen to really want to know how to read books she would never havelearned her letters at all.

One frightfully hot morning, when she was about nine years old, she awakened feeling very cross, and she became crosser still when she saw that the servant who stood by her bedside was not her Ayah.

"Why did you come?" she said to the strange woman. "I will not let you stay. Send my Ayah to me."

The woman looked frightened, but she only stammered that the Ayah could not come and when Mary threw herself into a passion and beat and kicked her, she looked only more frightened and repeated that it was not possible for the Ayah to come to Missie Sahib.

There was something mysterious in the air that morning. Nothing was done in its regular order and several of the native servants seemed missing, while those whom Mary saw slunk or hurried about with ashy and scared faces. But no one would tell her anything and her Ayah did not come. She was actually left alone as the morning went on, and at last she wandered out into the garden and began to play by herself under a tree near the veranda. She pretended that she was making a flower bed, and she stuck big scarlet hibiscus blossoms into little heaps of earth, all the time growing more and more angry and muttering to herself the things she would say and the names she would call Saidie when she returned.

"Pig! Pig! Daughter of Pigs!" she said, because to call a native a pig is the worst insult of all.

She was grinding her teeth and saying this over and over again when she heard her mother come out on the veranda with someone. She was with a fair young man and they stood talking together in low strange voices. Mary knew the fair young man who looked like a boy. She had heard that he was a very young officer who had just come from England. The child stared at him, but she stared most at her mother. She always did this when she had a chance to see her, because the Mem Sahib–Mary used to call her that oftener than anything else–was such a tall, slim, pretty person and wore such lovely clothes. Her hair was like curly silk and she had a delicate little nose which seemed to be disdaining things, and she had large laughing eyes. All her clothes were thin and floating, and Mary said they were "full of lace." They looked fuller of lace than ever this morning, but her eyes were not laughing at all. They were large and scared and lifted imploringly to the fair boy officer's face.

"Is it so very bad? Oh, is it?" Mary heard her say.

"Awfully," the young man answered in a trembling voice. "Awfully, Mrs. Lennox. You ought to have gone to the hills two weeks ago."

The Mem Sahib wrung her hands.

"Oh, I know I ought!" she cried. "I only stayed to go to that silly dinner party. What a fool I was!"

At that very moment such a loud sound of wailing broke out from the servants' quarters that she clutched the young man's arm, and Mary stood shivering from head to foot. The wailing grew wilder and wilder.

"What is it? What is it?" Mrs. Lennox gasped.

"Someone has died," answered the boy officer. "You did not say it had broken out among your servants."

"I did not know!" the Mem Sahib cried. "Come with me! Come with me!" And she turned and ran into the house.

After that appalling things happened, and the mysteriousness of the morning was explained to Mary. The cholera had broken out in its most fatal form and people were dying like flies. The Ayah had been taken ill in the night, and it was because she had just died that the servants had wailed in the huts. Before the next day three other servants were dead and others had run away in terror. There was panic on every side, and dying people in all the bungalows.

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The Secret Garden 4.1 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 1560 reviews.
moniema More than 1 year ago
I am 9 years old, about the same age as Mary the main character in the book. When I first got the book I thought I would not be interested in it. However, I kept on reading and it got really good. The story is very well told, it is easy to follow, the vocabulary is not very hard. You just have to be patient and towards the middle the story gets very interesting. Also at the end of the book there are questions about the story that makes you wonder how you would feel in Mary's situation. My mom felt that this book would be a good introduction to reading good literature, and I agree. I felt it was very educational and appropriate for my reading level. I would recommend it to any girl or boy that is ready for some serious reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first time I read this book must have been when I was in fourth grade, and I loved it so much and read it many times after that. I had to do a book report and that was when my dad recommended this book to me. I was reluctant to read this book at first, however, I was quickly captured in the magic of this book. It truly opened a door to a new world of a journey in a land of Classic books. I cried while reading this book.. because I'm also very emotional. It's about an arrogant, selfish, and lonely girl who discovers a secret world behind a door. Gradually through the stories she learns to smile, laugh, and be a child. She makes friends for the first time and becomes more bright and glowing then ever! If you don't read this book... you will regret it... Read it and enjoy!!! :)
Shadow51 More than 1 year ago
This is a true classic. A girl named Mary Lennox was a selfish, unattractive and disagreeable child. When both her mother and her father dies, she is sent to live in her uncle's mansion. One day she discovers a key that would open a garden that has not been entered in 10 years. She goes into the garden every day and each day she's in there she becomes a little less selfish, a little more attractive , and a little more lovable. This is a must read book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great book for anyone from children to adults. A reminder of what childhood can be when we give children what they need.
thirsting_for_knowledge More than 1 year ago
as a person that likes the classics with action and books of warfare, i thought my friend was crazy when he recommended this book to me. to be honest, i was very doubtful of the book when i bought it. much to my astonishment, this book is full of moral meaning in life itself; a girl who hasn't been loved at all in her life is sent to live with her uncle. she never loved anyone since she hadn't had anyone love her, and as such, was a very miserly person with no care in the world for a soul around her. as she lives with her uncle in a huge house, she often hears cries coming from the part in the house she is to refrain from going to. one night she ventures in to find her cousin whom she had never even known about; he was much the same as she was, a very horrid person. the girl meets Dickon, a very loving and caring person. his love and care rubs off on her, and in turn, it rubs off on her cousin Colin. all in all, it is a great moral in life at how one person can turn an entire family around with very little influence.
EmmaAusten More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this book as a kid but it seemed heavy and difficult back then. After re-reading it I see all that I missed during my first reading. It is a wonderful book full of suspense, sadness, happiness and hope. I really think it should be something that middle school or high school kids read as they are more adult to understand some of the concepts in it. Otherwise I suggest parents read it with your children so you can explain the vernacular and time period. I love the descriptions of the garden and characters. It is correct to be a classic. Read it and get transported to your youth, playing outside and enjoying nature.
AutismMom More than 1 year ago
Not the book, but the loads and loads of typos. I downloaded the free version of the ebook to my nook. What a waste. I got so sick of trying to figure out what the book was trying to say, and bought the inexpensive version. I understand that free will not mean fancy, but if they are not even going to bother to at least proofread the typos out of the book, then why bother, it just makes them (Google books) look stupid. However, the book itself, the story, it is a very interesting tale. I am at a part of the book (no, I won't spoil anything) where Mary is discovering the world around her. A classic, and definitely worth a read.
GordonF More than 1 year ago
The story is simply told, with a kind of soft flourish that brings everything into vivid life. It's full of the kind of simple magic that fuels some of the best kinds of stories - at once believable, and simultaneously not just magic. The three main children each comes from a different life, a different way of looking at the world - and all three find the common ground as children only can. This is the kind of book that should be read in schools.
Gracie Dermenjian More than 1 year ago
I had to read it for school and i loved it
Gardenseed More than 1 year ago
Avery nice edition with black and white illustrations, relatively large print and wide margins, give the text an approachable appearance. An orphaned girl, living with a morose uncle in a huge and gloomy English mansion finds the key to a forbidden garden, befriends a cousin who has been living in hiding, and makes friends with all - especially Dickon, a boy who loves animals. This is the only unabridged hard cover edition of this favorite of generations of girls that I could find at this time,2012, and the fact that it is such a nice one make it a truly a treasure. A companion is A Little Princess, from the same publisher. I feel that I have found a treasure and want to share it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Still can not belive that she is yellow but it is a great book i may only be 10 but i know a good book whean i see one this is a classic and i highly recommened it for anyone who is looking for a super good book. My complements to the author.THANK YOU SO MUCH !!!!!!!!:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about a selfish, unattractive girl named Mary Lennox. In the beginning, Mary's parents die of cholera and she is moved her uncles mansion called Misslewaithe Manor. There she discovers a secret world behind a door, a friendly robin and three new friends. Each day when she visits her secret world she becomes a little more selfless attractive and a better friend. This is a must-read classic with mystery and adventure around every corner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is so amazing and its so interesting i didnt want to stop reading it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tells a story of what can happen when a child sets there mind to somethinh they belive in or what they think is right
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Secret Garden is an emotional story. It involves drama, love, sadness, and ends in happy way. Though it is a great book it would be challenging for young readers minds.
trails More than 1 year ago
I loved this story, and couldn't wait to hear what Mary was up to next.
GraceC More than 1 year ago
If you Love the movie you will enjoy the book even more. I remember watching the movie when i was little and just hateing how boring it was, but i just wasnt old enough to appreceate the story. This is not just a childrens stroy now that im older i understand the deeper meanings and it wasnt boring to me at all. its a very good story and if you read it as a kid. You need to go back and read it agian.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about a girl who is so mean and cruel and she is sent to her uncle's house. There she meets her maid, Ben Merryweather, a lovely bird, and lots of others. She has so many nice adventures. I loved this book because it was really sweet and you can read it any time you want, even if you are an adult!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've always enjoyed this book, espesally now. I plan on having my own Secret Graden. I wanted to rate this book more, but this website wouldn't let me. If I could've made it bigger, i would've put down 1000! I would recamend this book for people who just want to keep they're secrets somwhere.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this old book. It is great reading, for anyone 5 & up. As long as you can read. It is about a selfish rich girl who learns to be a great person. She look for a secret garden, meets a reletive she did'nt know about, & makes new friends at her Uncle's manor when she becomes a orphan. I saw the Movie first, it was great too! & it isn't a long book it was only 200 pages! Overall Great Story, you should get it. MorganHorseRiderAnimalLover0298 Age 11 & Homeschooled
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lovely book that I DO recommend and is a great being part of B&N collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not read this book yet but it sounds very interesting . I can't wait to try it! The book sound like it would be good for all ages. I think every one should try it. Don't judge a book by its cover!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why can't we have more books like this instead of the junk we have now?Great book anyhow.