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The Secret Garden
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About the Author

Frances Hodgson Burnett was born in Manchester, England, on November 24 1849. After her father's death in 1853, Burnett's mother ran the family's iron foundry until the American Civil War caused the business to fail. Destitute, the Hodgsons moved to Tennessee in 1865 to stay with relatives in a log cabin. Frances lived there until 1873, when she married a doctor, Swan Burnett, whom she later divorced in 1898. She married Peter Townsend, an actor, in 1900. From her teens Frances had written stories and tales to help her support the family and later claimed never to have written a manuscript that was not published. Her first widespread success came with That Lass o' Lowrie's in 1877, a tale of the Lancashire coal mines. But it was the publication of Little Lord Fauntleroy, in 1886, that brought the author fame and wealth and established Cedric as the model for a generations of young boys. Sara Crewe was published in 1888, and the rags-to-riches story was so successful that Burnett revised, expanded, and republished it in 1905 as A Little Princess. The beloved The Secret Garden appeared four years later to enormous critical and popular acclaim. A prolific writer, Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote over 40 novels and plays and dozens of short stories during her lifetime. She died at Plandome, New York, on October 29 1924.

Reviews

Gr 3-6-First published in 1911, Burnett's tale of burgeoning self-awareness, newfound friendship, and the healing effects of nature is presented in an elegant, oversize volume and handsomely illustrated with Moore's detailed ink and watercolor paintings. Cleanly laid-out text pages are balanced by artwork ranging from delicate spot images to full-page renderings. The outdoor scenes are beautifully depicted, presenting realistic images of animals and flowers, with the hues gradually warming in sync with the story's progression from winter's browns and beiges to the lush colors of spring. The young protagonists-lonely Mary Lennox; her sickly and spoiled cousin, Colin; and likable local lad Dickon-bound to life in the evocative paintings, which reflect the wonders of transformations in both nature and in a child's heart. All in all, a lovely interpretation.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"This adaptation has its own special appeal. Although considerably shorter than the original, it remains faithful to the plot. Allen's oversize chalk drawings are handsome. Children sometimes pass over Burnett's story because by the time they are able to read it, they are no longer interested in the subject. For them, this adaptation will work well."--Booklist

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