“The Secret Garden” Student Reviews 2009

June 3, 2009

The following reviews by COHS students are on “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Genre: Children’s Novel

Pages: 234

Reviewer: Kevin A.

Mary Lennox had to move to her Uncle’s mansion after Cholera breaks out. After exploring the mansion she hears a strange noise coming from somewhere, before she investigates the maid interrupts her.  That night she hears that noise again this time it leads her to a very angry and sick looking boy. When the meet the soon become friends. Since Colin did not spend time with Mary because he was too frail. Mary found this secret garden with the help of her robin bird friend. She sprouts the idea that Colin might be sick because he is inside the mansion all the time. She thinks that if he is outside and sees the beautiful garden that he might not hate the world. Mary shows Colin the garden, they begin to tend to the garden and help Colin walk. Over time Colin and Mary make the garden more beautiful than before. Colin is finally enjoys life and can walk.

This novel I think is a good book for life lessons. I guess that is why it is a children’s novel. It was a good read and I adored the descriptions of the gardens, the mansion, and the country. I loved Colin’s character, he had the struggle that many people have when the feel like they don’t belong because of some imperfection.  With hope they felt better and made progress to better themselves.

1. State the author’s purpose in writing the book: To show that unlikely friendships can create hope and heal wounds of the heart and of the body.

2. State the theme and the thesis of the book. The theme is Life heals with the right nutrient like friendship.

3. Explain the method of development-the way the author supports the thesis. Illustrate your remarks with specific references and quotations. He shows this, when at the end Colin can walk and is healthier than before and his father is finally smiling.

4. What main issue does the book raise and what stance does it take in addressing and solving the issue?

The main issue is that a girl is practically alone in her Uncle’s mansion but finds a bitter and sick boy who hates life and everyone in it. Mary finds this secret garden with the help of her robin bird friend. She sprouts the idea that Colin might be sick because he is inside the mansion all the time. She thinks that if he is outside and sees the beautiful garden that he might not hate the world. Mary shows Colin the garden, they begin to tend to the garden and help Colin walk. Over time Colin and Mary make the garden more beautiful than before. Colin is finally enjoys life and can walk.

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