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23.8.12

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I started a new writing class today.  The take away assignment was to write a page or two, doubled spaced, about a childhood memory about reading. I rode the city bus to campus to avoid parking horrors, and on the ride home, I opened my writer's notebook to catalog the memories flooding into my mind.  As I sorted them, I decided to write about the Book Mobile so that I could reach my assignment goal of two pages.  But as the day has progressed, I keep coming back to my mother reading me The Secret Garden at bedtime. The cover to the left is the one of my childhood.  

At first I did not like Mary at all.  She was rude.  She was sour.  She was unfriendly.  I had nothing in common with her, but envied her adventure to a new land.  My mother kept reading and as the story unfolded, I finally found a connection to Mary.  She asked for a bit of ground.  My grandmother regularly set me outside with a spoon and a bowl in the dirt for a morning's occupation.  We both grew in the dirt.  We both learned about ourselves in the dirt.  We found ourselves in the garden.  It is a wonderful tale.  And it is not just for girls!  Dickon and Colin are beautifully developed boy characters.  As a matter of fact, Dickon, a boy who could "talk" with the animals, is one of my son's first and favorite friends from literature.

To help with the temptation we have to judge a book by its cover, puffin classics has a new addition with updated art. There are also many additions that only have our friend the robin on the cover, if you are trying to get a boy interested.

 

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