Tilly's Moonlight Garden

Tilly's Moonlight Garden

3.3 4
by Julia Green
     
 

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Tilly just moved into a drafty old mansion, away from all her friends. She spends her afternoons wandering around her new backyard in order to escape the cold, dusty rooms of the house. But one night, Tilly follows a fox she has seen from her bedroom window and he leads her deep into a hidden garden that is nothing short of mesmerizing in the moonlight. This

Overview

Tilly just moved into a drafty old mansion, away from all her friends. She spends her afternoons wandering around her new backyard in order to escape the cold, dusty rooms of the house. But one night, Tilly follows a fox she has seen from her bedroom window and he leads her deep into a hidden garden that is nothing short of mesmerizing in the moonlight. This mysterious garden and the special friend she meets there help her rediscover the magic in her own life.

This is the story of an unforgettable time in one girl's life and how a new home, a secret garden, and a little fox can change someone in the most unexpected ways.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Green's lovely story about escaping into the imagination (and deciding when it's time to return) pays homage to classics like The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables. Eleven-year-old Tilly is separated from her best friend and everything she knows after her family moves into a beautiful old mansion in the English countryside. While her mother struggles through a difficult pregnancy and her writer father remains distant, Tilly spends most of her time alone, working on crafts and exploring the outdoors. At night, while carrying her stuffed fox, she follows a real fox through a gate and into a hidden garden, where she finds solace in a new friend that no one else can see. Tilly's uncertainties about her new school and fear of losing her mother are echoed through the enigmatic environment, rather than being overtly expressed in the narrative. Green (Hunter's Heart) masterfully fashions characters out of nature, the seasons, and the house, creating an atmosphere tinged with melancholy and a wisp of the supernatural, which is further accentuated by Howard's smoky b&w scenes. Ages 9–up. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Nuanced and gently-paced, share this with imaginative young readers dealing with change." - Kirkus

""Green's portrayal of Tilly's anxiety is well-handled... fans of Philippa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden (1958) or Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden will enjoy this." " - Booklist

"A story that already feels like a classic and would make a good read-aloud in a classroom or home setting." - Lost in the Library

"A lot of kids will be able to relate to Tilly having a new sibling coming, being worried about changes in their household, and starting new schools. How Tilly and her imagination get her through the changes is an enjoyable read and one that will delight and help young readers with the changes in their lives. We highly recommend it, and in fact I would suggest giving it to an older sibling as a 'baby shower' present, as something special for them to treasure! " - Bless Their Hearts Mom

"This was a sweet book filled a girl's fear of loosing her mother and moving to a new home during a turbulent time in her life... I really enjoyed how Green made the magic of the den seem special just when Tilly needed it most. I liked how you are not sure if Helen was crossing through time or if she was an imaginary friend. It is a great way to get children to think things through and come up with their own conclusion. I am sure that there will be spirited debates between friends who read the book. " - Books Beside My Bed

"Tilly's character, unsure of herself in a new town and new school, is also at an "in-between" age, wondering if she should be shedding some of her childhood interests, even though she's not quite ready to do so. This theme is important in literature, for what better way for young readers to explore it safely than in a book? Told with emotion, but never coming on too strong, Tilly's Moonlight Garden is a story of a young girl in a time of transition, and it provides a bit of magic while also addressing feelings that will surely be understood by young middle grade readers." - 5 Minutes for Books

"A perfect length, 220 pgs, for intermediate readers. Hand this one to kids who enjoy beautiful language and description and will sympathize with Tilly's shyness at school and her private worries." - Jean Little Library

"Tilly's Moonlight Garden is a darling book filled with imagination and comfort." - Oh My Books Blog

"The author does a great job of blending real life issues with a touch of magic which will capture the hearts of readers, young and old." - Raising Small Souls

Kirkus Reviews
If Tilly's world seems surreal, it is because it has been upended: Her mother is absent, bedridden with a difficult pregnancy, the family has moved, and Tilly's best friend is miles away. Starting school where the girls seem cliquish is hard without her mom to talk to. But there are some things about the new house and grounds that lend Tilly courage, such as the fox that enchants her nightly. In parallel to her mother's condition, the fox is expecting a litter. Then there is the girl, Helen, whom Tilly meets in the garden in the moonlight. Whether Helen is real, a ghost, or a product of Tilly's dreams will tease children into spirited debate. What is sure is that Helen serves as a stand-in for a companion until Tilly makes friends with Susila. Briticisms and an unusual syntax may put off some readers. Others will be lulled by the slow-moving, dreamlike quality of the writing until they, like Tilly, will be barely aware of how the real world begins to reassert itself as the pieces come together: Mom feels better after giving birth, Tilly looks forward to teaching her baby brother everything she knows, and Susila shows promise as a friend who will enjoy stories about the fox in the garden. Nuanced and gently-paced, share this with imaginative young readers dealing with change. (Magical realism. 8-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Tilly's family has just moved, and she is lonely. Her father, a writer, does not seem to know how to communicate with her, and her mother is having a difficult pregnancy. Then the child discovers a magic garden and makes a new friend, who helps her appreciate the wonderful things in her own life and to accept the changes taking place. This is a sweet and quiet book that thoughtful readers will enjoy. Kids undergoing big changes themselves will appreciate the difficulty Tilly experiences while trying to adapt and will relate to her. The story draws the obvious comparison to The Secret Garden. A pleasant, gentle book for larger collections.—Elizabeth Swistock, Orange County Public Library, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402277306
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
10/02/2012
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
660L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Something was different.

The fox sensed it.

Curled up in its daytime hiding place in a nest of brambles, the fox lifted its head. It pricked up both ears to listen.

It heard a car and voices. Next, a big moving truck drew up on the road outside the house. Someone banged a door at the back as they opened it.

For hours, the moving men went back and forth, carrying boxes into the house. Tables and chairs came next; beds and bookcases, lamps and cushions and rugs. A whole house-load of things was carried out of the truck, up the front path, through the open door into the house.

All day, the fox tried to sleep, curled up with the tip of its tail wrapped around its body, but its ears twitched, listening for danger.

As evening came and shadows lengthened across the grass, the truck drove away. The front door banged shut. At last it was quiet-just the normal sounds of an autumn evening. A blackbird sang at the top of a tree. A squirrel ran along the edge of the rickety wooden fence.

The fox uncurled itself. It yawned and stretched.

Silently, on velvet paws, it slipped through the bars of the gate into the garden. No one saw its slim, red-brown body and long tail as it stopped at the edge of the lawn to sniff the night air. It looked up at the house.

The fox called out into the dark. It was a strange sound, an eerie, high-pitched scream that echoed around the night garden and made everything afraid.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Nuanced and gently-paced, share this with imaginative young readers dealing with change." - Kirkus

""Green's portrayal of Tilly's anxiety is well-handled... fans of Philippa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden (1958) or Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden will enjoy this." " - Booklist

"A story that already feels like a classic and would make a good read-aloud in a classroom or home setting." - Lost in the Library

"A lot of kids will be able to relate to Tilly having a new sibling coming, being worried about changes in their household, and starting new schools. How Tilly and her imagination get her through the changes is an enjoyable read and one that will delight and help young readers with the changes in their lives. We highly recommend it, and in fact I would suggest giving it to an older sibling as a 'baby shower' present, as something special for them to treasure! " - Bless Their Hearts Mom

"This was a sweet book filled a girl's fear of loosing her mother and moving to a new home during a turbulent time in her life... I really enjoyed how Green made the magic of the den seem special just when Tilly needed it most. I liked how you are not sure if Helen was crossing through time or if she was an imaginary friend. It is a great way to get children to think things through and come up with their own conclusion. I am sure that there will be spirited debates between friends who read the book. " - Books Beside My Bed

"Tilly's character, unsure of herself in a new town and new school, is also at an "in-between" age, wondering if she should be shedding some of her childhood interests, even though she's not quite ready to do so. This theme is important in literature, for what better way for young readers to explore it safely than in a book? Told with emotion, but never coming on too strong, Tilly's Moonlight Garden is a story of a young girl in a time of transition, and it provides a bit of magic while also addressing feelings that will surely be understood by young middle grade readers." - 5 Minutes for Books

"A perfect length, 220 pgs, for intermediate readers. Hand this one to kids who enjoy beautiful language and description and will sympathize with Tilly's shyness at school and her private worries." - Jean Little Library

"Tilly's Moonlight Garden is a darling book filled with imagination and comfort." - Oh My Books Blog

"The author does a great job of blending real life issues with a touch of magic which will capture the hearts of readers, young and old." - Raising Small Souls

Meet the Author

Julia Green lives in Bath, England with her two sons. She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. She is the critically acclaimed author of three novels for young adults that will be published in the U.S. in early 2012 by Bloomsbury.

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Tilly's Moonlight Garden 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book i reccomend this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A secret garden remake
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was okay but it wasn't the best either. There were parts that were serious snoozers and I really just got bored. I alomost feel asleep just trying to read the first few ages. Anyway l guess l recommend this book to people who love gardens and deep connections with people animals or things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was an amazing book.  It was like you were right experiencing the adventure with her. I loved it.   i decided to do a book report on it!