The Secret Garden

( 1536 )

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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.

Frances Hodgson Burnett's beloved classic is adapted for beginning readers in this colorfully illustrated version. The spoiled orphan Mary Lennox leaves India to live with her cold uncle in his dreary mansion in England. When Mary hears of a secret garden kept locked for ten years, she is determined to find it and tend it back to life.

With the help of her uncle's sickly son and a boy who knows all about nature, Mary secretly transforms the garden - and all of their lives.

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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.
Publishers Weekly
Soothing and mellifluous, native Briton Bailey's voice proves an excellent instrument for polishing up a new edition of Burnett's story. Bratty and spoiled Mary Lennox is orphaned when her parents fall victim to a cholera outbreak in India. As a result, Mary becomes the ward of an uncle in England she has never met. As she hesitantly tries to carve a new life for herself at imposing and secluded Misselthwaite Manor, Mary befriends a high-spirited boy named Dickon and investigates a secret garden on the Manor grounds. She also discovers a sickly young cousin, Colin, who has been shut away in a hidden Manor room. Together Mary and Dickon help Colin blossom, and in the process Mary finds her identity and melts the heart of her emotionally distant uncle. Bailey makes fluid transitions between the voices and accents of various characters, from terse Mrs. Medlock and surly groundskeeper Ben to chipper housemaid Martha. And most enjoyably, she gives Mary a believably childlike voice. A brief biography of the author is included in an introduction. Ages 6-12. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed 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 - 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

School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Originally published in 1911, the story of Mary Lennox's transformation from impudent orphan to compassionate friend in the forbidden garden of Misselthwaite Manor has been recorded for a new generation to enjoy. Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic is done justice by the vocal talents of Josephine Bailey. From the start, the narrator's lilting English accent will capture students' attention, but it is her vocal characterizations that will hold it. Abundant dialogue is enhanced with the authentic-sounding broad Yorkshire of the brusque Mrs. Medlock, the talkative Martha, and the crotchety old Ben, contrasted with Mary's precise and proper English. Bailey effortlessly captures the innocence of the young and the world-weariness of the old, while moving seamlessly between the two. There are no sound effects, and they are not needed. The overall aural quality is excellent. While the length of the production may initially scare off some listeners, those who persevere will be rewarded with a rich literary experience.- Leigh Ann Rumsey, Penn Yan Academy, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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
"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.  
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Many laudable versions of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic have been recorded, and this is another worthy selection. Spoiled Mary Lennox is sent to the English moors to live in a mysterious mansion that holds many secrets. Classic characters such as Dickon, the almost magical gardener/animal whisperer, and Colin, the spoiled, sickly son of the house, grow to know and trust each other as well as Mary. Finola Hughes does a marvelous job with the Yorkshire accent, Colin's childishly peremptory remarks, and Dickon's peaceful mien. At the beginning, Hughes doesn't quite succeed in portraying Mary's self-centeredness and meanness, but as the girl begins to blossom, she becomes much more assured in her portrayal. The pacing is excellent and the production quality is very good. This enchanting production belongs in most library collections.—B Allison Gray, Goleta Public Library, Santa Barbara, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781470824747
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2012
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 7

Meet the Author

Frances Hodgson Burnett was born in Manchester, England, in 1849, the third of five children. When her father died in 1853 the family was plunged into poverty, and the young Fanny began writing to escape the grim realities of life. In 1865 the family moved to America where she met her future husband, Dr. Swann Burnett. Her book Little Lord Fauntleroy was published in 1886 and was an instant success, launching a career that would produce over forty books. Frances Hodgson Burnett died in 1924.

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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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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
The Text of The Secret Garden 1
Facsimile of the opening page of The Secret Garden 2
The Secret Garden 3
Illustrations 174
First episode of The Secret Garden (October 1910) 174
Frances Hodgson Burnett (December 17, 1881) 175
Frances Hodgson Burnett (Caricature) (1906?) 176
Backgrounds and Contexts
[The End of an Era] 179
Digging in the Garden: The Manuscript of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett 186
My Robin 199
In the Garden 209
Letters 215
Vivian Burnett to Frances Hodgson Burnett (April 10, 1911) 215
Frances Hodgson Burnett to Vivian Burnett (April 16, 1911) 216
Frances Hodgson Burnett to Vivian Burnett (April 20, 1910) 217
Frances Hodgson Burnett to Vivian Burnett (April 1911) 217
Frances Hodgson Burnett to Elizabeth Jordan (no date) 219
From A Far, Fair Country 219
Burnett in the Press
Frances Hodgson Burnett (1881) 222
Authors at Work-III (1889) 226
The Boston Mind Cure (1885) 227
The Lounger (no date) 228
Mrs. Burnett Protests (1889) 229
Mrs. Burnett's Timely Protest (1889) 234
Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett at Home: A Visit to Maytham Hall, Rolvenden, Kent (1902) 235
Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett Finds a New Field for Her Pen (1906) 238
Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Authoress of "Little Lord Fauntleroy"-Has Something to Say about Children and Children's Books (1907) 242
[Untitled] (1907) 246
A New Thought Mixed with Fantasy Is Served in Guise of Melodrama (1909) 246
Mrs. Burnett Not a Christian Scientist (1909) 249
'There Is No Devil,' Asserts Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett (1910) 250
Social Sets of Other Cities (1910) 252
Mrs. Burnett and the Occult (1913) 255
The Magic in Children's Books (1920) 259
Criticism
Reviews and Mentions of the Secret Garden
From New York Literary Notes (1911) 265
What Was Hid In a Garden (1911) 265
The New Books (1911) 267
From A Guide to New Books (1911) 268
From The Way of Letters (1911) 269
Frances Hodgson Burnett's "The Secret Garden" (1911) 269
The Secret Garden. By Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911) 270
From Reviews of New Books. Fifty of the Season's Best Books for Children (1911) 271
One Hundred Christmas Books (1911) 271
From The Nation (1911) 272
From American Monthly Magazine (1911) 272
From The Bookman, Christmas 1911 273
From Among the Authors (1912) 274
From The Way of Letters (1912) 274
From Among the Authors (1913) 275
Modern Critical Views of the Secret Garden
The Critical and Commercial Reception of The Secret Garden, 1911-2004 277
Gardens, Houses, and Nurturant Power in The Secret Garden 287
Secrets and Healing Magic in "The Secret Garden" 302
Digging Up The Secret Garden: Noble Innocents or Little Savages? 314
Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Secret Garden 324
The Mem Sahib, the Worthy, the Rajah and His Minions: Some Reflections of the Class Politics of The Secret Garden 342
Influenced by the Secret Garden
Strip Mines in the Garden: Old Stories, New Formats, and the Challenge of Change 367
Noel Streatfeild's Secret Gardens 387
The Secret Garden "Misread": The Broadway Musical as Creative Interpretation 422
Frances Hodgson Burnett: A Chronology 443
Selected Bibliography 453
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1536 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(841)

4 Star

(320)

3 Star

(180)

2 Star

(75)

1 Star

(120)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1542 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A great start!

    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.

    69 out of 77 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 29, 2009

    LOve the book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I loved this book sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much i am speechless!!! it is an really good book!! It is acually VERY old. It is about a girl who find a secret garden.

    LUVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( dragon tales)

    36 out of 74 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2005

    Truly a Story that will touch one's heart deeply

    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!!! :)

    31 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful book for adults and children

    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.

    30 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Classic

    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

    19 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Awesome to bored

    The book was awesome... a lot of description for those of u whose like that type of books like me. Is not a great plot i just a story of 3 differents kids. The lats chapters were a little boring...it felt like there was no more to say and they just kepr writing.. in gral great book.

    18 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    a complete and total surprise!

    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.

    17 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Relive your youth

    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.

    14 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    Happy New Year! Start it off by reading good books.

    I posted on December 27, 2011 as "A PASSIONATE STORY". I forgot to recomend this book, so it's a wonderful book and you will enjoy reading it.

    12 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Best book ever!!!!!!!

    BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!

    11 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2011

    Great

    I had to read it for school and i loved it

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2010

    Terrible

    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.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    The secret garden

    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

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    A PASSIONATE STORY

    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.

    8 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    Anomymous

    I had to read for summer reading and it was so boring i really did not like it

    8 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful & Magical

    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.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Great book

    In class i am reading this book it is great

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2010

    Gardening

    I loved this story, and couldn't wait to hear what Mary was up to next.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    "I shall get well! and I shall live for ever and ever!"

    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.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Book

    I love it that book so much

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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