An enchanting story of transformation and compassion, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden is widely considered to be one of the most important works of children’s literature. After her parents die of cholera, Mary Lennox, a difficult and sickly little girl, is brought from India to her mysterious uncle’s sprawling estate on the Yorkshire moors. Mary continues in her self-absorbed ways until one day she discovers a hidden and neglected garden adjoining her uncle’s mansion. When she meets Ben Weatherstaff, a curt but gentle gardener, and discovers her hidden-away invalid cousin, Colin Craven, the three come together to tend the garden, and Mary’s life—as well as the lives of those around her—begins to change in unforeseen ways.
This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the text of the first American edition published in 1911.
Mistress Mary is quite contrary until she helps her garden grow. Along the way, she manages to cure her sickly cousin Colin, who is every bit as imperious as she. These two are sullen little peas in a pod, closed up in a gloomy old manor on the Yorkshire moors of England, until a locked-up garden captures their imaginations and puts the blush of a wild rose in their cheeks; "It was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place any one could imagine. The high walls which shut it in were covered with the leafless stems of roses which were so thick, that they matted together.... 'No wonder it is still,' Mary whispered. 'I am the first person who has spoken here for ten years.'" As new life sprouts from the earth, Mary and Colin's sour natures begin to sweeten. For anyone who has ever felt afraid to live and love, The Secret Garden's portrayal of reawakening spirits will thrill and rejuvenate. Frances Hodgson Burnett creates characters so strong and distinct, young readers continue to identify with them even 85 years after they were conceived. (Ages 9 to 12)