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The Secret Garden

By Frances Hodgson Burnett   

“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.”

–Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Book Summary


Children’s Literature


Friendship, Transformation, Chronic Illness, Redemption, Beauty


8 -12 years


Mary Lennox is a spoilt and selfish little girl living in India with her parents. After their deaths, Mary is moved to Yorkshire, England, where she learns independence and grows healthy and strong as she roams the moors and befriends a little Robin. The robin leads Mary to a secret garden, which on the surface looks dead, but underneath, things are growing and preparing to bloom – just like little Mary herself.

Mary also encounters her sickly cousin Colin and nature whisperer Dickon. Together the three unlikely friends cultivate the garden and help it awaken. As the children diligently tend to the buds, the magic found in the garden brings it all to life, including the children’s hearts which transform and blossom in good health and hope.

This story is about transformation, both physically and emotionally. It reminds us that even the most sickly, unloveable and difficult people can radically blossom through friendship, beauty and the secret magic that knits the world together. 

Content Warning:

Early on in the story, Mary says racist things about her Ayah (Indian carer) and in Chapter 23 entitled ‘Magic’, the children do a magic chant to summon Colin’s father. This chapter can be easily skipped for families who are uncomfortable with magic chanting.

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