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4.5 out of 5 stars188
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2008
I tend to collect children's literature as much for the illustration as for the literary content. The Secret Garden is a classic and is well-known and reviewed elsewhere as a piece of writing. This particular edition, illustrated by Inga Moore, is also visually exquisite. Slightly oversize, it gives space for an illustrator/designer to concoct something wonderful. There are illustrations on almost every page... almost. They leave the odd two facing pages illustration-free, bringing the turning the page to be like the joyful surprise of entering the secret garden yourself. Some illustrations are full page, some are strips along the edges, some are little close-up vignette boxes as if examining individual flowers. Some are pen and ink botanica, some are creatures scurrying across the pages, some are like watermark backdrops. Most are full color and highly detailed and accurate. The story is rightly a classic for its wonderfully transforming and healing relationships. The illustration is a joy to match and highly complements the book. This is a special current edition to have in your library, even if you have another.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2002
The Secret Garden (book review)
Soon Kim
June 18, 2002
Do you believe in magic? If you read The Secret Garden you will experience the amazing magic, I am sure.
Mistress Mary Lennox was born in India. Her parents paid no attention to her. Mary is not loved by all, she is spoiled, gloomy, sullen, and selfish in India. Suddenly, her parents die and she goes to live with her uncle on the Yorkshire moors of England. But also her uncle is an apathetic person.
When she arrived in Yorkshire she found another person who looked like herself. He is her selfish sickly cousin Colin. Mary and Colin discover his mother's garden. They take care of flowers and trees together, and they have a great deal of fun together. Mary learns to accept that there are other people in the world, and she helps Colin. The garden's magic makes the two children's characters normal and happy through good people and the beautiful secret garden.
I wish that you would read this book; if you need to love, if your mind has been devastated, if your life is dry and boring, if you lose interest in everything, then read The Secret Garden and your mind will sprout " The word is so beautiful." I still smell many kinds of sour smelling blushful roses in the secret garden. The sweet roses are coloring my mind still ......... I love them so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2003
This story begins by many defects of Mary Lennox, the ten- year- old girl who is the novel's protagonist.
At the outesr of this story, Mary is ugly with yellow skin by constant illness.(7.) She is living in India wih her parents who never wanted a child. As the Mary's servnats were obliged to give Mary whatever she wants.
Mary beocmes terribely spoiled, selfish and dictatorical. She loves no one, and no one cares at all for her(21.).
The other important character is Colin Craven. Everyone fears that he will become a hunchback and die before he reaches adulthood. "So long as Colin shut himself up in his room and thought only of his tears and weakness...He was a hysterical half- crazy little hypochondriac who knew nothing of the sunshine..."(57.). Colin hates looking at himself in the mirror because he despises the pity from other people. He refuses to leave the manor house, and spends all his shut up in his grand gloomy room.
This novel also tells us about that the relationship between the health and outlook of the story which is theme of this novel. For example, when Master Craven is sad, ensures that he will continue to be sad, and will make those around him similarly dismal.
I think Mary will discover some kind of garden that actually represents this novel, and Mary will have a time living with other people because she is selfish. I predict that she will live in garden by herself and will get magical experience. In last part, I think she will learn how to love other from Coalin because he is the same age as Mary and Coalin are both lonely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2003
I read this book in school, and in class it was sort of boring, since we had so many reports, tests, and questions to do for it, and such things always ruin books for me. Well, I saw it sitting on my shelf collecting dust, and I thought, "I've nothing better to read right now, let's see if I still think that it's boring." I read it within three hours and I truly did not find it boring. Mary was such an interesting character, and I took to her immediately. Her developement from a bad tempered and unhealthy girl into a better tempered nice and healthy girl was gradual throughout the book, and I found it to be a charming book. For those who like nice stories for reading to your children at night or for just reading on a rainy day, read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2009
The book is beautifully done and my wife and son enjoy reading it nightly. He is in grade one and we were looking for a longer book to start for bed time. My wife remembers this one from when she was little. The illistrations in it really bring the story to life and after so many years she said it was a delight to read it again. My son is enchanted with the idea of a hidden garden. Our back yard and his imagination due to this story have really changed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2003
I read "The Secret Garden" as a child and fell in love with it.Now,as a 23 year old adult,it is still as endearing to me as it was then.The characters and the setting are so realistic.Whenever I read it now,I can still feel the cold wind and fog of England,and can also see every plant and flower in the garden.I recommend that children and adults alike read this book.You will treasure it.
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on July 15, 2004
I think that this is FHB's best book. Although I certainly enjoy the romatic ideas of diamond mines, life-size dolls, and (completly platonic) secret admirers (as all appear in "A Little Princess") nothing beats the spunky nature and burgeonng independance of Mary, Colin and Dickon.
After her parents die of Cholera, spoiled brat Mary is sent to live with her uncle in Yorshire. She is shocked, absolutely shocked, to find a world that is the complete opposite of India. Not just the weather: gone is the fully staffed nursery which completely revolved around her every whim (and she had a lot of them) and in its place is a local maid who brings her breakfast and that's about it. Mary doesn't even know how to dress herself.
Appalled at first by the notion of having to look after herself, Mary discovers that it's really not so bad. Especially when she discovers a secret garden that has been locked for ten years. Together with her cousin, a boy as bratty and obnoxious as she is, and Dickon, a local boy with a way with living things, she sets about to bring the garden back to life. Mary and Colin, who have been raised with fairly good intentions and plenty of material possesions but no real love, learn what love is as they care for and nurture the garden.
Burnett really has an ear for children's dialogue, and she brings a real sympathy to Colin and Mary even when they are at their most obnoxious. In addition, their transformation is believable, complete with little relapses into their self-absorbed natures.
This is a book that is perfect for people of all ages.
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on May 4, 2004
AThe Secret Garden had an inspirational effect on me. Frances Hodgson Burnett was able to show you that no matter how rough life gets, you always have a single ray of hope. Through realistic characters, she was able to show the value of life. Each character was so detailed and developed it was as if you were watching it all happen. Whether you believe in magic or not, it feels as if something is with you while you are reading. This story has been made into a movie. However, the book has a warmer nature as opposed to the movie.
Mary was an unloved unwanted child with everything she could ever want except for a family. Due to the fact that her mother didn't want her around, her nanny would do anything for her to keep her happy. After her mother's death the only person left to keep her was her uncle in England. Coming from India, the people in England didn't expect Mary to be so picky. She finds that in order to stay amused she must overcome her selfish nature and do things on her own. This leads her to find her cousin, Colin. In time, they both learn to appreciate life and the only way to make it is to stop worrying and start believing. Mr. Craven, Mary's uncle, locked up parts of the manor and a special garden after his wife's death 10 years earlier. So, when it is found it is to be kept a secret between six new friends, until it can be revealed to Colin's father, which could or could not happen.
I would rate this book a 4 because, there were s things I didn't agree with. Some of the less important characters were too developed and it is a long story. I did like that it gave me a warm feeling, as if anything is possible. I'm still thinking about how I can change someone's day the same way they did for each other. The only way to enjoy the miracle is to read it yourself.
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on January 25, 2004
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a most fantastic
fiction story to read! I find myself a little like one of the main characters, Mary Lennox. She likes adventure, and loves to play out doors. Mary Lennox was sent to live in her Uncle Craven's mansion, because her parents died in India from cholera. Mary meets many people at the mansion like Ms. Medlock described as Mr. Craven's mean old maid. Mary and Ms. Medlock do not get along. Ms. Medlock is always telling Mary to stay out of trouble. As the story unfolds, she also meets Martha Sowerby, who becomes Mary's servant and trustworthy friend. She also meets the gardener, who introduces her to the robin bird that sings her songs. Mary later meets Dickon, a friendly boy that could communicate with animals. A little while after she meets Mr. Craven Mary Lennox gets curious, and discovers a mysterious person behind one of the walls in the mansion. She meets all these characters on her adventure to find the secret garden.
This book had great illustrations. It had many hooks from the beginning to the end. It was a well written book. I would've liked to seen colored pictures instead of black and white. I wouldn't change anything about the characters personalities, or what happens to them, because they were all happy in the end.
The author Frances Hodgson Burnett must have loved nature and gardening. Two of her classic books The Little Princess, and The Secret Garden have been favorites to many people. Just before her death she said, "With the best that was in me I have tried to write more happiness into the world."
I would recommend this book to anyone from age 9 and up. If you love to read adventure, mystery, or drama, then pick up this book from your local library. You will be glad you did.
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on January 7, 2004
Beverly barnard
The author of the book is Frances Hodgson Burnett she written the novel called The Secret Garden. Dell Publishing Co. in the year of 1911 published the book. The theme of the book was basically loneliness. A girl had been abandoned from her parents and had to live with her uncle. Her cousin hardly ever sees his uncle. This lonely kid always felt as if he would die. This little girl named Mary Lennox tries to help him. It all changes when she discovers a magical garden.
The book was very cool. It is a sad touching story how a magical garden can bring family back together. Mainly if you have an experience of being lonely and felt like no one ever cared for you then The Secret Garden is the right book to read. Honestly the book relates to a lot of teenage kids in the world today because for teenage kids that may be locked up in the room and feel very lonely to the point they feel as death will creep upon them. That someday they will find a garden with magical powers to bring them to join with other people.
I would recommend this book to everyone because it was an adventure, descriptive, amazing, magical book I loved it and I hope anyone else who reads it will enjoy it to.
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