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4.7 64
by Julie Andrews Edwards

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Ten-year-old Mandy feels lost among the thirty children who live in the old stone orphange. She dreams of a home of her own, a place where she belongs. When Mandy climbs over the high orphanage wall to explore the outside, she is lucky enough to find a tiny deserted cottage hidden in the forest. With a few borrowed items, the cottage becomes a refuge. To guard her


Ten-year-old Mandy feels lost among the thirty children who live in the old stone orphange. She dreams of a home of her own, a place where she belongs. When Mandy climbs over the high orphanage wall to explore the outside, she is lucky enough to find a tiny deserted cottage hidden in the forest. With a few borrowed items, the cottage becomes a refuge. To guard her secret, Mandy even lies — but when she falls terribly Sick, no one knows where she is. No one, that is, except for a special admirer she didn't know she had.

Editorial Reviews

Language Arts
Beautifully written, sensitive. A joyous novel.
Children's Literature
St. Martin's Orphanage is the home of thirty children. Mandy, a bright ten-year-old, has lived there her entire life. Mandy shares a room with Sue, but wants more than anything to have her own home. One day, Mandy finds a stone wall in back of the orphanage. She climbs over the wall and discovers a cottage. She borrows supplies from the kitchen and the gardener and begins to clean up the cottage. Each day she hurries home from school to visit her special place. During a visit she feels a sharp pain and suddenly faints. When she doesn't return to the orphanage, a search begins. Only Sue knows of the secret place and she tells the matron to call Mr. Fitzgerald, the owner. He goes to the cottage and brings Mandy to his house, where he and his family nurse her back to health. When she returns to the orphanage, she is very sad. She had been part of a family and now misses the Fitzgeralds. The Fitzgeralds decide the house is lonely without Mandy and they want her to be a part of their family. Mandy has finally found what she has been looking for all her life. 2001 (orig. 1971), HarperCollins, $5.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer:Karen Werner

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

On the outskirts of a pretty country village called St. Martin's Green, there stands a large, white house called St. Martin's Orphanage. It has been there for many years. An imposing residence, the house has obviously known better days. It has generous, tall windows and large, high-ceilinged rooms. A black wrought-iron rail ing runs around the front and two sides of the property and the fourth side has a high stone wall to mark the boundary. The grounds, although not extensive, provide enough room at the back for a substantial play area for the children, a kitchen garden, and a modest orchard close to the high stone wall. The front garden is simply an expanse of green lawn and a drive extending from the gate at the road to the main entrance of the house.

The orphanage is managed by a board of trustees, but the principal figure, around which the institution revolves, is its matron, Mrs. Hannah Bridie. A graying, elderly woman, she is a widow .who has been in charge of St. Martin's ever since the death of her husband some twenty years ago.

In her care she has, on the average, thirty children. Apart from ensuring that they receive as good an education as possible, she oversees the laundry, the food, and the cleaning of the home. She maintains discipline and tries to observe and help each child in a personal way. Her day begins at the first light of dawn, and she is never finished until late in the evening.

Most people would buckle under the strain of so much hard work, but this plain, good-natured woman seems unflagging in her energies, and although the home is constantly understaffed and she is underpaid, it is thanks to her devotionthat the orphanage has a higher reputation than most other institutions of its kind.

Mandy had been there for as long as she could. remember. She was a bright ten-year-old, with dark hair that fell boyishly straight and short, around her sweet face. Since she had no known relatives, the orphanage was her home, her whole world.

She had many friends and she was much loved. Because she had been at St. Martin's most of her young life, the staff favored her somewhat, and she was given certain privileges and more freedom than the other children. She could be trusted and relied upon. Apart from schooling and a few special duties, Mandy had plenty of time to herself.

Basically, she preferred to be alone. She was inventive and quick-witted, but, above all, she was a dreamer. Most of the time she lived in a make-believe world of her own. She loved to read. She exchanged books at the local library at least once a week. The wonders of Robinson Crusoe and Alice in Wonderland and Gulliver's Travels were very real to her and offered far more excitement than the reality of her life could ever provide.

On Saturday mornings she helped out at the local grocery store. She was given a small sum of money for her work, and she used it as she pleased. Most of her money was spent on her precious books and sometimes on paints, crayons, and paper for painting and drawing.

Only the younger children at the orphanage attended school on the premises. Mandy, with the other older children, was sent out each day to attend the local school, which was on the other side of the village green.

Sometimes, after her classes were finished for the day, she wandered slowly home enjoying the pleasures of the soft countryside around her. She loved the outdoors and everything to do with nature. More often than not, having first obtained permission from the staff, she would go for a walk by herself.

She was rarely lonely at such times. The trees and flowers were very special to her and she knew the names of most of them by heart.

Living in her own dream world, as she did, it was never long before she had invented some situation to match her mood, and she was able to occupy herself for hours.

But it did not follow that Mandy was completely happy. How could she be? She had neither mother nor father and not even memories of them to sustain her.

She occasionally experienced very disturbing feelings. Sometimes she felt an ache inside that

would not go away. It seemed then as though her life were very empty.

She would cry for no reason at all, seemingly, and it frightened her when she did. She tried to be brave and put away her feelings.

"I'm having one of my attacks again," she would think, trying hard not to let people see her tears.

Her attempts to keep busy were mostly an effort to fill her life so that she had no time to feel disconsolate. But the nagging sadness was persistent, and it would envelop her when she least expected it.

As Mandy grew, her longings grew stronger and sometimes she felt as though she must surely break apart with so much going on inside her. It was as though she were searching for something, though what or where it was she could not say.

Meet the Author

Julie Andrews Edwards is one of the most recognized figures in the world of entertainment. She is perhaps best known for her performances in Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and The Princess Diaries. Ms. Edwards is the author of many favorite children's books, including Mandy, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, and the Little Bo series. She and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, an arts educator and theater professional, have coauthored over twenty books for young readers, including Simeon's Gift, The Great American Mousical, Thanks to You: Wisdom from Mother & Child, and the recent New York Times bestsellers The Very Fairy Princess and Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. Emma is also the author of Raising Bookworms.

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Mandy 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was around 9 or 10 when I really started to get into reading, I picked up this book and was engrossed. I loved it so much that I'm pretty sure this is all I read that summer over and over and over again and am elated that I can share this now with a very special little girl in my life. I love how this takes you to you own special garden...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was smart, sophisticated and heartwarming. It was also very original, and had an awesome ending.
KathyAnderson More than 1 year ago
The reason I got this book was because of the beautiful cover illustration. When I read it (which was right away), I loved it. Unlike most books, you catch on really fast to the characters and story. You feel like a part of the story when you read this book. I thought the main character, Mandy, was very imaginative. Mandy loved gardens, so that made it even more fun to read. The story was easy to picture in your head. The author was really creative. I liked it so much that I bought another copy as a Christmas gift for a good friend. I would recommend it for girls ages 8-12. You should definitely read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful book. My mother read it to me when I was quite small, I reread it as an adult and I don't even recall anything but lovely language used in the book. All your fears are lies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first read Mandy I was either nine or ten. My adopted grandparents from the church that we attended gave me this book as a Christmas gift. I read this book over and over again. Now that I am a mother I enjoy reading it more. Julie Edwards is a wonderful and amazing author and I enjoy all of the writing that she has done.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are many things about this book to like. It is an interesting, if somewhat predictable, story that is well told. However, at the same time, there are a few occurrences of 'By God' or 'My God' used as interjections (which is taking the Lord's name in vain) and one 'dammit' (which is cursing). I suppose that these are included to make it sound 'realistic.' However, everyone agrees that children should NOT be taught to talk like that, so for the life of me I cannot figure out why authors of children's books want to include that kind of language in their works. It just boggles my mind. If it were not for this, I would have given the book an excellent rating.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book,only it was really predictable.....but other then that I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
Summary- Mandy is a 10-year-old orphan who is very kind. Matron Bridie, the woman who runs the orphanage where Mandy lives is very nice and even though Mandy is an orphan, she thinks life is pretty good. One day while Mandy is out exploring the woods around the orphanage, she finds an abandoned cottage. Even though the cottage is very run-down, Mandy feels like it is a place just for her. She spends days and weeks fixing it up. She takes things from the orphanage to help her fix the cottage. She also begins lying about where she is going so that no one else will find her special place. While at the cottage, Mandy becomes terribly sick and no one knows where she is! Mandy regrets not letting anyone know about where she goes, but is it too late? Opinion- The first thing I thought when I started reading this book was – “Wow! A happy orphan who isn’t abused and likes the woman running the place!” That made me laugh because usually the books I read start off with a troubled kid usually an orphan or ignored by his or her parents. It was nice to read a different story plot. Besides Mandy actually being a happy orphan, I thought the story was very nice and it kept me wanting to read it until the end. I liked reading about Mandy fixing up the cottage. I thought Mandy was a realistic character and could understand why she wanted a place of her own. I found out that Mandy is the first book Ms. Andrews Edwards wrote and that she wrote the story for her step-daughter. Ms. Andrews Edwards has a way of telling stores that makes you care about the characters and that makes her stories even better. *NOTE - This book was given to me as a gift
DCopperfield More than 1 year ago
I liked it alot. It was funny sad and deeply rewarding. Only bad thing is it might be a little to predictable. All around a great read.
litlblh More than 1 year ago
My cousin gave this book to me when I was a kid, probably 10. I still look at this book as my favorite book ever. I am the type that likes to fantasize and this book took me there. Very well written and just an enjoyable read. I am now 49.5 and still remember this book as my favorite.
sandvik More than 1 year ago
i think this book every body could enjoy it because it is about an orfan girl who find a plac ethat she can fun away to and get away from everything!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is heartwarming and absorbing. It is a great book to read if you like adventure. It has great wording and adjectives. I find it very fun to read. I never wanted to put it down. It made me go into a different world, a world of fantasy. This was written and typed by a 12 year old girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it was truly a good 1.i wood definitly reccomend to friends.PLEASE READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a birthday present from my godmother for my tenth birthday (in 1970). The character and the story was so touching that I re-read the book through most of my childhood and into my teen years. As an adult and some 35 years later, the character and the story remains a treasured childhood literary memory. This book has been a cherished companion and a most memorable gift. My thanks to Julie Edwards for fueling my love for literary works and giving us the wonderful world of Mandy.