A classic piece of childrenOCOs literature first published as a novel in 1911, Frances Hodgson BurnettOCOs "The Secret Garden" is a story of transformation and renewal. Unwanted by her parents, Mary Lennox, a spoiled, selfish young girl is raised in India by servants. When cholera breaks out killing her parents and most of the servants, Mary is sent to live with a mostly absent uncle in England. It seems as though no one cares for Mary, and that Mary will never care for anyoneOCountil she steps into the secret garden, and her life begins to change. "
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)