The Secret Garden by France’s Hodgson Burnett
Ah, what a sweet and lovely way to wander into Autumn, than with a book about a truly magical garden.
The story starts with Mary Lennox, as spoiled and sour child, living in India, like a princess, whom at the age of 10 cannot even dress oneself. Through circumstances beyond her control , she is taken in by her Uncle and is sent to England to live with him. She eventually meets her cousin, Colin Craven, who is in fact a worse child than herself, and has been told repeatedly he is going to die.
As she begins to explore her new home, and stately gardens at Misselthwaite Manor, she meets some very interesting characters, (human and animal) and learns about how happy life can be as a normal, healthy child. To see the garden come back to life , to observe the ‘moor’through each season, as seen through a child’s eyes, who has very little himself, but has such joy in his heart ( Dickon Sowerby), it is hard not to be captured by this old classic story.
My favourite character: The Robyn.
Notes: Slow to start, keep with it, it’s truly worth it. The Yorkshire English dialogue may pull the young reader out of the story.
Suitable for ages 10 and up.