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The Secret Garden: A Graphic Novel

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Green-growing secrets and magic await you at Misselthwaite Manor, now reimagined in this graphic novel adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s tale. Ten-year-old Mary Lennox arrives at a secluded estate on the Yorkshire moors with a scowl and a chip on her shoulder. First, there’s Martha Sowerby: the too-cheery maid with bothersome questions who seems out of place in the dr Green-growing secrets and magic await you at Misselthwaite Manor, now reimagined in this graphic novel adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s tale. Ten-year-old Mary Lennox arrives at a secluded estate on the Yorkshire moors with a scowl and a chip on her shoulder. First, there’s Martha Sowerby: the too-cheery maid with bothersome questions who seems out of place in the dreary manor. Then there’s the elusive Uncle Craven, Mary’s only remaining family—whom she’s not permitted to see. And finally, there are the mysteries that seem to haunt the run-down place: rumors of a lost garden with a tragic past, and a midnight wail that echoes across the moors at night.  As Mary begins to explore this new world alongside her ragtag companions—a cocky robin redbreast, a sour-faced gardener, and a boy who can talk to animals—she learns that even the loneliest of hearts can grow roots in rocky soil.


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Green-growing secrets and magic await you at Misselthwaite Manor, now reimagined in this graphic novel adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s tale. Ten-year-old Mary Lennox arrives at a secluded estate on the Yorkshire moors with a scowl and a chip on her shoulder. First, there’s Martha Sowerby: the too-cheery maid with bothersome questions who seems out of place in the dr Green-growing secrets and magic await you at Misselthwaite Manor, now reimagined in this graphic novel adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s tale. Ten-year-old Mary Lennox arrives at a secluded estate on the Yorkshire moors with a scowl and a chip on her shoulder. First, there’s Martha Sowerby: the too-cheery maid with bothersome questions who seems out of place in the dreary manor. Then there’s the elusive Uncle Craven, Mary’s only remaining family—whom she’s not permitted to see. And finally, there are the mysteries that seem to haunt the run-down place: rumors of a lost garden with a tragic past, and a midnight wail that echoes across the moors at night.  As Mary begins to explore this new world alongside her ragtag companions—a cocky robin redbreast, a sour-faced gardener, and a boy who can talk to animals—she learns that even the loneliest of hearts can grow roots in rocky soil.

30 review for The Secret Garden: A Graphic Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jaidee

    3.5 "nostalgic, stress easing, hope instilling" stars !!! Thanks to Netgalley, the author and illustrator and Andrews McCeel publishing for an e-copy. I am providing my honest review. This will be released June 2021. I had a variety of minor stressors today (that added up) and I was feeling tense and mildly anxious. Aside from my meditation and walking I needed a little more. So I opened up my favorite Portuguese Rose and was perusing Netgalley when lo and behold...... This adaptation appeared. 3.5 "nostalgic, stress easing, hope instilling" stars !!! Thanks to Netgalley, the author and illustrator and Andrews McCeel publishing for an e-copy. I am providing my honest review. This will be released June 2021. I had a variety of minor stressors today (that added up) and I was feeling tense and mildly anxious. Aside from my meditation and walking I needed a little more. So I opened up my favorite Portuguese Rose and was perusing Netgalley when lo and behold...... This adaptation appeared. As a young boy from the ages of five to eight I read at least three times a year. At five I may have had it read to me once or twice but I started reading very young. It quickly became one my very favorites and it was both magical and comforting to me. This graphic novel/picture book is an adaptation by Mariah Marsden and illustrated by Hanna Luechtefeld. The adaptation was sweetly done but a bit lacking and I would rate it three stars. The illustrations were lovely and varied and I can see it appealing to young children. I would rate the illustrations an excellent four stars. In the end there is some really interesting background on the book and author as well as a glossary. I feel this would appeal as a read-along to the younger children or older children that avoid novels. I would hope this good book would be enough incentive for the child to then go on to the Classic.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shannara

    So I should premise this with, I adore the book, and I also happen to love the 1993 movie adaptation. But I happen to love graphic novels in general. Which brings me to my strange point, I didn’t love this. The art was quite lovely. It reminds me of in the style, and I really loved that. But this being a very abridged version, I feel like some of the magic just didn’t translate. This is just my opinion because I’m sure so many people are going to love this a lot. I am just so in love w So I should premise this with, I adore the book, and I also happen to love the 1993 movie adaptation. But I happen to love graphic novels in general. Which brings me to my strange point, I didn’t love this. The art was quite lovely. It reminds me of in the style, and I really loved that. But this being a very abridged version, I feel like some of the magic just didn’t translate. This is just my opinion because I’m sure so many people are going to love this a lot. I am just so in love with the original book and the movie that I needed more content. It just wasn’t long enough for my taste. That’s why I’ve rated this 3 1/2 stars rounded down. I do recommend this to those who haven’t read the book, and also a young audience. I think my kiddos would love this!!! Thanks so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for allowing me to read this for my honest and unbiased opinion. Check out those review and others on my blog @ https://shannarareads.com/?p=352 Thank you!!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Virginie

    A graphic novel adaptation of The Secret Garden available on Netgalley? I couldn't resist! Sure, it's not as detailed as the novel, but it respects the original storyline. For children who don't read a lot, it's a great way to discover this classic. While the story was really sweet and full of magic, I wasn't a fan of the illustrations. Among other things, I would have preferred brighter colors. If you like graphic novel adaptations, I recommend Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel, by the same a A graphic novel adaptation of The Secret Garden available on Netgalley? I couldn't resist! Sure, it's not as detailed as the novel, but it respects the original storyline. For children who don't read a lot, it's a great way to discover this classic. While the story was really sweet and full of magic, I wasn't a fan of the illustrations. Among other things, I would have preferred brighter colors. If you like graphic novel adaptations, I recommend Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel, by the same author. Also, The Secret Garden is a "Read Now" on Netgalley! Many thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange of my honest reviews. Publication date: June 15th.

  4. 5 out of 5

    tiffany

    this graphic novel was truly a delight read ✨ i adored the secret garden as a child, and when i saw this graphic adaptation, i couldn't not NOT pick it up to read. the illustrations in this graphic novel are stunning and really do bring the story to life. obviously, the storyline is not as detailed as the original story, but it does sum up the general idea. the secret garden is a beloved classic because of the beauty and magic of its writing—no adaptation can really measure up to the physical boo this graphic novel was truly a delight read ✨ i adored the secret garden as a child, and when i saw this graphic adaptation, i couldn't not NOT pick it up to read. the illustrations in this graphic novel are stunning and really do bring the story to life. obviously, the storyline is not as detailed as the original story, but it does sum up the general idea. the secret garden is a beloved classic because of the beauty and magic of its writing—no adaptation can really measure up to the physical book. however, even though i prefer the original novel, i think this graphic novel would be wonderful for younger kids how prefer visuals and less words :)) --------------- I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing !! find me on instagram @tiffanyhubooks and twitter @tiffanyhu22 !!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Yasza

    “The Secret Garden” by F. H. Burnett is one of my most beloved children’s books of all time, so I couldn’t skip this graphic novel. The adaptation was written by Mariah Marsden whose other book “Anne of Green Gables” I loved very much and I sometimes dive into when in need to cheer up. “The Secret Garden” was no less enjoyable. The illustrations by Hanna Luechtefeld are simply enchanting. Performed in muted gentle colours, they created a cozy, magical atmosphere, a world you would want to get lo “The Secret Garden” by F. H. Burnett is one of my most beloved children’s books of all time, so I couldn’t skip this graphic novel. The adaptation was written by Mariah Marsden whose other book “Anne of Green Gables” I loved very much and I sometimes dive into when in need to cheer up. “The Secret Garden” was no less enjoyable. The illustrations by Hanna Luechtefeld are simply enchanting. Performed in muted gentle colours, they created a cozy, magical atmosphere, a world you would want to get lost in. They were so heartwarming and touching, I couldn’t tear myself away from the pages. The story itself is so popular, that everyone is familiar with it more or less: through the book or an old movie adaptation (which was my favourite to watch as a child). I believe Marsden’s version did the novel justice. The nature is basically called “magic“ in the adaptation and looks like it too. The picturesque scenery of moors, wild flowers, trusting animals are so alive and breathing, it made me smile. I guess more pages could be dedicated to developing the characters’ relationships and to the importance of making friends. The other thing I’d change in this graphic adaptation is its length, I wish it was much longer. On the other hand, it’s the right number of pages to keep kids engaged in the story. I hope the additional information at the end of the book will strike a spark of curiosity in young readers’ minds and they will be interested in reading the novel itself or just spending some time outdoors in the company of birds and plants. Thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for a digital copy of this lovely book in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Crunden

    I have very fond memories of The Secret Garden from my childhood. It's one of those classics that stays with you forever. Seeing such a lovely book transformed into a graphic novel is super awesome! This one does a lovely job giving new form to a classic. I recommend both! Thank you Netgalley for the ARC. Blog | Twitter I have very fond memories of The Secret Garden from my childhood. It's one of those classics that stays with you forever. Seeing such a lovely book transformed into a graphic novel is super awesome! This one does a lovely job giving new form to a classic. I recommend both! Thank you Netgalley for the ARC. Blog | Twitter

  7. 4 out of 5

    RoshReviews

    The Secret Garden is one of my favourite children’s books. I love the entire story (except for one part; more on that later) and all the characters, Dickon and Martha being my special favourites. So seeing the graphic version of this novel is a nostalgic experience. You might already know the original story. Mary’s parents, who live in colonial India, die suddenly of cholera and she is shipped off to one of her distance uncles in England. While initially a spoiled brat, she is soon set right by The Secret Garden is one of my favourite children’s books. I love the entire story (except for one part; more on that later) and all the characters, Dickon and Martha being my special favourites. So seeing the graphic version of this novel is a nostalgic experience. You might already know the original story. Mary’s parents, who live in colonial India, die suddenly of cholera and she is shipped off to one of her distance uncles in England. While initially a spoiled brat, she is soon set right by the friendly maid Martha. Under her loving tutelage, Mary learns to enjoy the outdoors, find new friends and even love herself. The secret garden she discovers on the grounds is central to this changeover. The book is quite charming and cute. It moves very quickly as there are many pages with only graphics and not much dialogue. Unfortunately, the story gets a few abrupt jumps at times and I can’t help feeling that chaptered sections would have worked better in explaining the sudden scene shifts. While the illustrations of the garden and house are excellent, the children could have drawn in a cuter way. The book will still be appealing to all its readers because the story is en evergreen one that speaks of nature and its enjoyment. I hope this graphic novel spurs the children to read the classic book too. What I have always hated in the original story is the colonial setting. While I am sometimes forgiving of the classic authors for being so racist and stereotyped in their thinking about “the natives”, I found it hurtful that the author Frances Hodgson Burnett had never even visited India and merely used whatever she had heard to create a picture of India under British rule. So here comes the great news: the graphic version does away entirely with the India part of the story and begins with Mary travelling to her uncle’s house. The note by the author at the end of the book states that the Indian part has been skipped out as “it doesn’t do justice to the history of British oppression in colonial India.” Heck, yeah! I am usually against significant parts of the story being left out in the graphic version, but in this case, I wholeheartedly support this decision and am grateful to whoever took that creative call. A big THANK YOU. A extra half star to the book for this decision and the honest note mentioning the same. I would have gone with 3.75 stars for the book but now I go with 4.25. Thank you, NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing, for the Advanced Review Copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. *********************** Join me on the Facebook group, Readers Forever! , for more reviews, book-related discussions and fun. Follow me on Instagram: RoshReviews

  8. 4 out of 5

    Olivia | Liv's Library

    The Secret Garden in graphic novel form?! Yes please! I loved how this stayed true to the original story. The artwork & colors were also stunning. It was very short and sweet, and at times seemed a little choppy. Nonetheless, it brought back so much nostalgia! Thank you NetGalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Isabelle | Nine Tale Vixen

    ★ 2.5 stars ★ I received an advance review copy from Andrews McMeel Publishing through Netgalley; all opinions are my own and honest. The visuals are a huge part of the storytelling, with several full-page spreads and montages. And to be quite honest I personally didn't love the art style which is relatively simple, kind of cartoon-like, which doesn't lend itself to nuance or subtlety. Plus, in part due to the minimal dialogue and narration, on some pages it's hard to determine the order of the pa ★ 2.5 stars ★ I received an advance review copy from Andrews McMeel Publishing through Netgalley; all opinions are my own and honest. The visuals are a huge part of the storytelling, with several full-page spreads and montages. And to be quite honest I personally didn't love the art style which is relatively simple, kind of cartoon-like, which doesn't lend itself to nuance or subtlety. Plus, in part due to the minimal dialogue and narration, on some pages it's hard to determine the order of the panels. That said, I did like how playful it is — I particularly like how elements cross panel boundaries to create a lively flow. As an adaptation this is decent, but it might be difficult to follow if you're not familiar with the source material, since you lose Mary's internal monologue and many plot points are simplified/omitted. Consequently, several of the developments seem abrupt and lose resonance ... though that may be an issue with the medium itself, rather than any particular creative choices.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Camila Lobianco

    Between every book that I read, I'm trying to read a children's book and this was the chosen one. I love this, this is cute, portrays magic in a really personal and peculiar way. I love this idea of magic being something of the nature, something that makes things happen, grow, exist. This is a simple book, one that I would love to read to my kids one day. Really great, the art is beautiful and an awesome book for children, but also people my age (I'm in my twenties now). Thanks to NetGalley for t Between every book that I read, I'm trying to read a children's book and this was the chosen one. I love this, this is cute, portrays magic in a really personal and peculiar way. I love this idea of magic being something of the nature, something that makes things happen, grow, exist. This is a simple book, one that I would love to read to my kids one day. Really great, the art is beautiful and an awesome book for children, but also people my age (I'm in my twenties now). Thanks to NetGalley for this opportunity, that was a really nice read!

  11. 5 out of 5

    adri

    3/5 I have never read the original, so I can't speak on how this graphic adaption compares to it. What I can say is that it was absolutely adorable. The Illustrations were amazing and just pretty, there's really no other word to describe it. I do think that the problems were solved a little bit too easily, but for younger kids or actually anyone who's just looking for a quick story it is perfect. 3/5 I have never read the original, so I can't speak on how this graphic adaption compares to it. What I can say is that it was absolutely adorable. The Illustrations were amazing and just pretty, there's really no other word to describe it. I do think that the problems were solved a little bit too easily, but for younger kids or actually anyone who's just looking for a quick story it is perfect.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Holland

    (More review to come later). What a charming graphic novel adaption of the beloved story. I loved the beautiful tones of the illustrations. I was captivated. For you Secret Garden lovers, you’ll notice elements of the original story are not in the comic and other sections are rearranged from the original order. If you’re a purist, you may find this comic a let down, however if you go in with an open mind, you may find it enjoyable. But those who have read her adaption of Anne of Green Gabled g (More review to come later). What a charming graphic novel adaption of the beloved story. I loved the beautiful tones of the illustrations. I was captivated. For you Secret Garden lovers, you’ll notice elements of the original story are not in the comic and other sections are rearranged from the original order. If you’re a purist, you may find this comic a let down, however if you go in with an open mind, you may find it enjoyable. But those who have read her adaption of Anne of Green Gabled graphic novel won’t be surprised with the Feng shui, as she has done this with her previous graphic novel. Thank you NetGalley! This made my day and I enjoyed it so much and have every intention to show this to my daughters(after we read the novel first).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Book Adventures with Katie

    I'm going to preface this review with the fact that I have never read The Secret Garden prior to this graphic novel and I think this is a great way to introduce people to the story. This was such a quick, easy read filled with illustrations that whisk you away from reality. At first, I wasn't sure about the dreary illustrations toward the beginning of the novel but after seeing the colorful garden I realized it was intentional and very well done. As someone who is still relatively new to the grap I'm going to preface this review with the fact that I have never read The Secret Garden prior to this graphic novel and I think this is a great way to introduce people to the story. This was such a quick, easy read filled with illustrations that whisk you away from reality. At first, I wasn't sure about the dreary illustrations toward the beginning of the novel but after seeing the colorful garden I realized it was intentional and very well done. As someone who is still relatively new to the graphic novel genre there were some pages with so many panels that I was unsure of the reading order but I think that says more about me than the book itself. If you're looking for a whimsical, nostalgic graphic novel this is for you.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bo Rae

    Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for allowing me to read the book and post a review. Scrolling through NetGalley, I stumbled upon this beautiful graphic novel, showing the beautiful story of The Secret Garden, originally written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. After having seen the film, I became intrigued by the story and I have been wanting to read the original book for a while now, so when I saw this graphic novel, adapted by Mariah Marsden and illustrated by Hanna Luechtefeld Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for allowing me to read the book and post a review. Scrolling through NetGalley, I stumbled upon this beautiful graphic novel, showing the beautiful story of The Secret Garden, originally written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. After having seen the film, I became intrigued by the story and I have been wanting to read the original book for a while now, so when I saw this graphic novel, adapted by Mariah Marsden and illustrated by Hanna Luechtefeld, I knew it would be a great way to get more familiar with the magical tale that is The Secret Garden. The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary, a spoiled and self-centered girl born and raised in a wealthy British family in Colonial India. After the death of her parents, Mary is sent to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven, in his mansion in the Yorkshire countryside called Misselthwaite Manor. Hardly adapting to her new situation and being bored, Mary starts to wonder around Misselthwaite Manor and soon discovers a few of its secrets, including a beautiful secret garden hidden away, an enchanting place that will help Mary adapt and change into a happy girl eager to go on a hunt for fun and adventures. The beautiful illustrations of the novel made sure I was sucked into the novel from the get go and that took me by surprise, quite a bit, as I’m not always the biggest fan of graphic novels. However, I truly loved how beautifully these illustrations were drawn and the way colours were used to mirror the emotions or state of the protagonist: Mary. On a rainy day, or whenever Mary would feel angry or sad, the colours would reflect that. Whenever she felt happy, primarily spending her time in the garden or meeting new friends, the colours would be bright and cheerful. I never expected to be able to get sucked into a graphic novel the way I did now and I truly enjoyed it, up to the point where I finished it in probably a record tempo for my doing. I also enjoyed how the classic tale, which I can imagine to be quite challenging for young readers, was adapted to fit them perfectly and to become understandable for younger readers. For a minute, I had to get used to the small amount of text that was used but soon I noticed that a lot of thoughts, flashbacks or feelings Mary or other characters were experiencing were really conveyed through the illustrations and I think that that is a perfect way to reach the mind and imagination of a child. However as an adult reader, I have to admit that I sometimes missed something that acted as a sort of guide or storyteller throughout the story, to indicate when a situation was changing for example, when night was turning into day for example, or when Mary relived one of her flashbacks concerning the death of her parents. But then again, I’m an adult reader and I think that for children, especially due to their colourful imaginations, using illustrations is perhaps a way better to way to explain a certain situation or certain feelings or emotions. It was also a nice surprise to find more information on both the author as well as the different places portrayed in the novel. I thought that was a very nice touch, also to allow young, modern readers to become familiar with classic authors. At first I was a bit confused as to why the part concerning Colonial India was left out, except for a few of Mary’s flashbacks, but then I came across the explanation provided by the creators of the book, that they felt it wouldn’t do justice to the history of the British oppression in colonial India and I understood their choice, which I found to be a respectful as well as thoughtful choice. The added glossary was also a very nice touch. The novel doesn’t contain many difficult words, in my opinion, but it was nice to see that, for the few that were in there, a glossary was added together with a nice description explaining the difficult words used and often a page number referring them back to that word. I thought that was a nice touch that I feel should be added to more books (especially for young readers). In conclusion, The Secret Garden: A Graphic Novel was a truly lovely read which definitely also made me even more interested in reading the original novel. I think it's a great way to introduce younger readers to engage more with classical stories and allow them, as well as adults, to see how the magic of certain classics just never truly disappears. The Secret Garden: The Graphic Novel was a definite 4/5 stars for me!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mel (Epic Reading)

    The Secret Garden was a huge favourite of mine as a child. I loved the idea of a garden that no one else could enter with gorgeous flowers and such mystery! It was also one of the first books I can remember having a child in a wheelchair. I have a cousin with cerebral palsy whose been confined to a wheelchair almost all his life I found this to be a very important point to note in my teenage years (my cousin is almost 10 years younger than me). This is one of those books like: Little Women, Anne The Secret Garden was a huge favourite of mine as a child. I loved the idea of a garden that no one else could enter with gorgeous flowers and such mystery! It was also one of the first books I can remember having a child in a wheelchair. I have a cousin with cerebral palsy whose been confined to a wheelchair almost all his life I found this to be a very important point to note in my teenage years (my cousin is almost 10 years younger than me). This is one of those books like: Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, and others where I tread carefully with re-tellings or new formats as they hold a special place in my heart from when I was young. However I will confess that one of my own nieces (currently 8 yrs old) loves reading books but tells me that graphic novels are "the best." As a comic collector I don’t disagree with her. And yet oddly, I feel like classics should be classics and remain in novel format most days. But in the interest of possibly having my niece and her sister's favourite medium to share The Secret Garden story I gave this adaptation a shot. True to the original story, the sentiment is, that being outdoors, amongst gorgeous lowers, sunshine, birds and wildlife can only be positive. Additionally the bonds of friendship and how important it can be to be friendly to everyone; regardless of their station in life or if they ‘report’ to you. This is an important lesson for children (and everyone) to learn and be reminded of. I always remember my father telling me that ‘you never know who your next boss will be’; so try not to alienate anyone. Personally I’m not always very good at it (lol); and so it’s a good reminder. The artwork is very simple and cute. It felt like it gave it the 'older' feel that this story has always held for me. I like that it’s clearly the same time period (as witnessed by the clothing and wheelchair). The copy of this story I kept from my childhood was actually highly illustrated on glossy paper. Similar to the graphic novel the colours in the home were muted; but within the garden (and most of outdoors) were vibrant. I also liked how many of the lines used in this format are the exact same as the novel. Making this a vey true to the book adaptation. An excellent option to bring the younger generation into a story that still has a core message relevant today. Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    La Coccinelle

    The Secret Garden is one of my favourite classics, so of course I jumped at the chance to read this graphic novel adaptation of the story. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations, it doesn't do the original story justice, and it's liable to annoy people who are tired of whitewashed history. The main problem I see here is that, if you don't know the original story, you're going to be confused because the format leads to a glossing-over of many plot points and the character development The Secret Garden is one of my favourite classics, so of course I jumped at the chance to read this graphic novel adaptation of the story. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations, it doesn't do the original story justice, and it's liable to annoy people who are tired of whitewashed history. The main problem I see here is that, if you don't know the original story, you're going to be confused because the format leads to a glossing-over of many plot points and the character development is weak (and inconsistent with the original). For some reason, the decision was made to remove any mentions of India from the story (purportedly because "they don't do justice to the history of British oppression in colonial India"), rendering Mary an inexplicable orphan with no backstory and no reason for her appalling behaviour toward those she feels are beneath her. The British were in India and they acted like racist jerks; can we please not try to "fix" the problem by ignoring it? In the original story, Mary is a lot more sour. Here, we see a badly developed child character going through the motions of the story. Even the artwork doesn't really convey the emotions of this hurt little girl very well, as the drawings make everyone look much the same. Colin is probably the best developed out of all of them, but only because he's such an over-the-top character to begin with. I can't put my finger on the intended audience here, either. There's not a ton of text (there are many panels with no text at all), so it might be okay for younger readers. However, like I mentioned earlier, those who are unfamiliar with the original story are liable to be confused and/or underwhelmed by the rather thin plot as it's presented here. There is some historical information at the back, along with a strange glossary that defines many words that are only used in the author's note. While the factual information about Frances Hodgson Burnett, India, and the English countryside is nice, I don't really know why we needed a glossary. (And I don't know why India was too taboo a topic to include in the graphic novel itself, when it was okay to put in the notes at the end.) Perhaps fans of the novel who want to read every adaptation will get more out of this than I did. I love the original story... but this graphic novel definitely did not measure up. Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing a digital ARC.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A lovely graphic novel based on the much-loved classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett. One of my favourite books as a child, I remember my feeling of awe as I read about the magical secret garden, tucked away behind four walls and forever locked with a secret key. I could smell and see the garden in my mind’s eye; the twisty, twiny weeded paths hidden behind the high stone walls, gradually blooming under the loving care of a special little girl and her helpers, into a magical fairy kingdom t ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A lovely graphic novel based on the much-loved classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett. One of my favourite books as a child, I remember my feeling of awe as I read about the magical secret garden, tucked away behind four walls and forever locked with a secret key. I could smell and see the garden in my mind’s eye; the twisty, twiny weeded paths hidden behind the high stone walls, gradually blooming under the loving care of a special little girl and her helpers, into a magical fairy kingdom teeming with wonder and colour. Along the way, touching everyone in its path with its message of pure magic, the theme was clear - there is always a reason to hope, the possibility of re-birth, the comfort and heart-soaring promise of spring, and the dawning and power of transformation and a new day. As a child, I loved grumpy Miss Mary, (portrayed beautifully here with her golden hair and sullen mouth), recognizing her as an orphan with a terrible past, heroically struggling to find her footing. And Dickon, the wild boy, tamer of animals, speaker to birds is captured perfectly with simple strokes and his cuddly menagerie of furry and feathered friends. And finally there is cousin Colin; spoiled, bed-ridden, terrifying ill of a wasting disease, (what we now know as tuberculosis) with little chance of survival. Hard to like, initially, Colin’s plight is fearful to any child, and in this rendition, the author and illustrator manage to capture his journey to hope lyrically and with great charm. Although nothing can touch the magic for me of the original classic, this graphic novel is a book to treasure deeply for its beauty and simplicity, making this wonderful story accessible now to even younger readers, who will no doubt delight in the pictures, get lost in the story, and carry away a sense of wonder and delight from the experience. On a final note, adults will enjoy it too - the illustrations are beautiful - wistful, ethereal, and muted in shades of teal, burnished pink and gold. (And don’t we all need another message of hope in this always challenging world.) A big thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for an advance review copy of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Maritina Mela

    *4.5/5 You know the story of a little spoiled, yet lonely girl, Mary, who after spending all of her life in India, leaves to stay with her uncle, following the death of her parents. And if you don't, here's what happens next: she moves in to her uncle's mansion, where she befriends one of the servant girls, Martha, the gardener, Dickon who is Martha's brother and eventually meets her cousin Colin, a sick kid who is equally spoiled and lonely. She also falls in love with the mansion's secret garde *4.5/5 You know the story of a little spoiled, yet lonely girl, Mary, who after spending all of her life in India, leaves to stay with her uncle, following the death of her parents. And if you don't, here's what happens next: she moves in to her uncle's mansion, where she befriends one of the servant girls, Martha, the gardener, Dickon who is Martha's brother and eventually meets her cousin Colin, a sick kid who is equally spoiled and lonely. She also falls in love with the mansion's secret garden, which used to belong to Colin's mother and after her death, her uncle kept it locked, leaving it to die. But Mary is determined to keep it alive and restore it to its former glory, which she does along with her friends. As the story progresses, we see Mary opening up to the people around her and becoming more independed and happier. In a sense tho, all of the characters go though changes and help each other grow, especially the three kids of the story (Mary, Colin and Dickon) This graphic novel is a great adaptation and a nice way to be introduced to the story, in case you have not read the original. Personally speaking, I am one of the people who fall into this category, since I have yet to read the original and don't know if my thoughts on this one will apply to that too. But, I have read some other short adaptations of the story, watched a cartoon adaptation as a kid and I also think I remember having watched parts of the 1993 movie as well, so I knew what to expect. I really liked the tone this was written in, it is very easy to read (took me less than an hour, I love that for me ❤️) it is very easy to connect to the characters and the artwork was fantastic! I also loved how in between scenes there were little flashbacks of Mary's life in India. They definitely help you understand and sympathise with her. My only complain, is that this should be a little bigger. Because I would love to see more scenes of the main characters interacting with each other, and I would love to know some of them better. But yeah, other than that, this was a positive reading experience. If you made it this far, congratulations! 'Til next time, take care :) :) :) I received an e-book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    This was a very good adaptation, by my reckoning – I don't think I have read the novel, but I know the story from the films made of it. A girl gets packed off to live as an orphan in a country mansion when her parents die, but it and the people in it are full of unexpected darkness and secrets. Luckily there is an outside to the mansion, where the girl meets characters both human and avian, and finds one of the place's secrets is a locked garden. Over the summer she and other people find the mag This was a very good adaptation, by my reckoning – I don't think I have read the novel, but I know the story from the films made of it. A girl gets packed off to live as an orphan in a country mansion when her parents die, but it and the people in it are full of unexpected darkness and secrets. Luckily there is an outside to the mansion, where the girl meets characters both human and avian, and finds one of the place's secrets is a locked garden. Over the summer she and other people find the magic in outdoors life, nature, tending for wildlife and plants, and more. Visually this was strong, but not a hundred per cent there. Sure, all the hundreds of silent, wordless small images build up a montage showing the wildlife in and around the secret garden, and with that the passing of time, but some of it did seem to add nothing but complexity. I did think, too, with the artist's palette being a bit muted to start with we might find something a bit more dazzling with the success of summer – instead it still remains a little inscrutably Victorian and reined-in. Where the script is concerned, I cannot really report on how well the characters have come across. In dropping the whole colonial, Indian aspect of the book's opening for needless 'woke' reasons, it's hard for the newcomer here to tell if the girl is just mourning, stuck up and privileged, or rightfully indignant in having strangers and a strange new world thrust on her. Of course, as the story plays out we see others in mourning, and/or more indignant than she – so there is still a satisfying arc for all the personalities in the novel. So people who know the source well may disagree with my positive comments about this, but on the basis of what I got here alone I found something enjoyable. There's a spirituality to the eco-consciousness, a classic example of the orphan finding a manor full of a dark past, and more to this, and all of it is worth our time. A healthy, budding four stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sepherina

    “The Secret Garden” is a classic children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett that I remembered enjoying when I was young, so I’m delighted to have discovered this children’s graphic novel adapted by Mariah Marsden and illustrated by Hanna Luechtefeld. If you’ve read the novel before, you’ll be no stranger to the story of Mary Lennox, a 10-year-old girl who was taken in by a mostly-absent but well-to-do uncle after the death of her parents and placed in the care of his household staff. Having been “The Secret Garden” is a classic children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett that I remembered enjoying when I was young, so I’m delighted to have discovered this children’s graphic novel adapted by Mariah Marsden and illustrated by Hanna Luechtefeld. If you’ve read the novel before, you’ll be no stranger to the story of Mary Lennox, a 10-year-old girl who was taken in by a mostly-absent but well-to-do uncle after the death of her parents and placed in the care of his household staff. Having been spoilt by servants while her parents were still alive, the sullen and rude Mary finds herself trying to adapt to her new environment on the secluded estate. As she slowly comes out of her shell and befriends the maid, the maid’s brother, the gardener, and even a cute little robin, she discovers that the estate holds its own mysteries - strange wailing noises at night and tales of a secret locked-away garden. Alongside her explorations, she learns how friendship and kinship can cure even the loneliest of hearts. This graphic novel is beautifully illustrated in full colour. I loved how Mary blossomed from a rude and sullen kid to a cheerful and happier person under the friendship of Martha the maid, followed by the rest of people she meets along the way. Her growth is evident by how she learnt to see from other people’s perspectives instead of just her own. The novel also touched on heavier issues like self-esteem which although might be a concept difficult for children to grasp, are presented in simple questions like “Do you like yourself?”. I enjoyed reading the background of Frances Hodgson Burnett and the setting of the book at the end. I think this is a graphic novel that will appeal to young children, especially with the story simplified alongside such charming illustrations. Thank you NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the e-ARC. Publication date: 15 Jun 2021 Reviewed on 3 April 2021

  21. 5 out of 5

    Leighton

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! The Secret Garden by Mariah Marsden and Hanna Luechtefeld is a stunning and charming adaptation of the original Victorian children's book. I recommend it for all fans of the "younger" Studio Ghibli movies like The Secret Life of Arietty or Kiki's Delivery Service. It would make a nice addition to any children's graphic novel collection. I remember reading The Secret Garden when I was a child. I remember being Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! The Secret Garden by Mariah Marsden and Hanna Luechtefeld is a stunning and charming adaptation of the original Victorian children's book. I recommend it for all fans of the "younger" Studio Ghibli movies like The Secret Life of Arietty or Kiki's Delivery Service. It would make a nice addition to any children's graphic novel collection. I remember reading The Secret Garden when I was a child. I remember being enchanted by the three main characters and the development of friendship between them. Here, the graphic novel expounds on all of the magic and fantasy that is present in the original story. The "secret garden" itself is given lush, beautiful colors with clear attention given to the plant life in the garden. The scenes in the garden and in Misselthwaite Manor look like a visual masterpiece and perfectly depict the slightly gothic atmosphere of Victorian England. The characters themselves are what impressed on my mind when I was reading the original story, and here, they are brought to life by the illustrator. The character's expressions are charming and funny, similar to other children's graphic novels like The Babysitter's Club graphic novels. The story of how the three children discover each other and help each other to grow emotionally and spiritually is preserved and enhanced in this graphic novel. Overall, I highly recommend The Secret Garden to all children looking for a graphic novel. If your child is interested in a feel-good story set in Victorian England, you won't regret checking out this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Holloway

    *Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the digital ARC of this graphic novel for review purposes!* First off, The Secret Garden is one of my favorite books of all time as well as one of my favorite movies, so I was quite excited going into this. I liked quite a few things about this graphic novel, but some things definitely fell short. First, the illustrations are incredibly cute and have the perfect touch of magic to them. The garden is beautifully depicted and has so many whimsical touches. *Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the digital ARC of this graphic novel for review purposes!* First off, The Secret Garden is one of my favorite books of all time as well as one of my favorite movies, so I was quite excited going into this. I liked quite a few things about this graphic novel, but some things definitely fell short. First, the illustrations are incredibly cute and have the perfect touch of magic to them. The garden is beautifully depicted and has so many whimsical touches. The characters also seemed true to the original, and my favorite storylines from the original are part of the graphic novel. I especially loved Dickon, he’s every bit of magical as he should be. I also thought that excluding the India/colonizer storyline was a good choice. It’s one of the parts that doesn’t really fit into the magic of the original (at least for me). Now for the negatives. It was honestly just too short. The story seems too shallow and surface-level and as a result, it lacks a lot of the charm of the original. This graphic novel might be fine for a really young reader, but while it was very cute, it seemed to jump too quickly to the next scene in order to summarize what happens in the book. We also don’t get enough of the growth of the characters in this version. Mary’s growth in the original book is so beautiful and parallels the growth of the garden, and I missed seeing that here. The magic of the garden is kinda there, but I would have loved to see more of it. Maybe if we would have gotten more description instead of just short dialogue? Overall, a fairly good graphic novelization of the story, but doesn’t quite capture the magic of the original.

  23. 5 out of 5

    jess

    I was a Secret Garden fan as a kid, and must have read it at least fifty times in my life, so I was a bit apprehensive about how it would translate to a graphic novel format. I am happy to report that those concerns were unnecessary, because the illustrative style of this book perfectly matches the tone and evocative emotions of the original work. The emptiness of the moors, the magic of growing things, the hurt and sourness of Mary, the torment of Colin, and the magic of Dickon are captured wit I was a Secret Garden fan as a kid, and must have read it at least fifty times in my life, so I was a bit apprehensive about how it would translate to a graphic novel format. I am happy to report that those concerns were unnecessary, because the illustrative style of this book perfectly matches the tone and evocative emotions of the original work. The emptiness of the moors, the magic of growing things, the hurt and sourness of Mary, the torment of Colin, and the magic of Dickon are captured with loving detail and a clear eye in these pages. The atmospheric sense of the manor is alive on every page, and I almost expected it to hear an ASMR manor+moor soundtrack and see some foggy wisps to cross the page as I was reading. I would happily buy this for a young fan of graphic novel classics, probably over age 7 or 8, and I would also pick it up for adults who experienced the magic of the secret garden in childhood. I will also note that my memory is that the original secret garden has some hurtful stereotypes and narratives that were a product of its time, but those things seem to be updated with compassion in this version. Colin's disability, for example, is not presented so much as a negative problem to be cured or erased, as it is part of his broader perspective and identity. I was glad to see this subject handled with some tenderness. It is tough to update a classic and keep the important stuff while bringing contemporary thinking about marginalized identities, but I think this is a thoughtful example of how to do that. I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Jane (inkdrinkerhana)

    I want to thank Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for giving me a chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review. First of all, I haven't read the original book of The Secret Garden until i've tried this graphic novel. But it didn't stop me from falling in love with this book. I love the art style and it really suits to the theme of the story. If a child or early teenagers read this graphic novel I think they will also fall in love with the illustrations and everything. This boo I want to thank Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for giving me a chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review. First of all, I haven't read the original book of The Secret Garden until i've tried this graphic novel. But it didn't stop me from falling in love with this book. I love the art style and it really suits to the theme of the story. If a child or early teenagers read this graphic novel I think they will also fall in love with the illustrations and everything. This book feels like giving me a warm embrace as I read further into the story. It makes my heart warm and I loved that. This book talks about the little things in life that most people just overlooked and it made me appreciate those little things. It has message that is telling me that even just growing a flower, it is still magic. As for Mary, the main character, I liked her defiance and stubborness, and I must tell you that it's not annoying. It's actually makes her character adorable to read. She is also curious and brave despite being an orphan. Over the cast of characters, I love each of their character developments. It's a little fast but still understandable since this is a graphic novel. Overall, I rated this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I totally recommend this to readers of all ages. And I feel like this is the perfect book for children who you would like to get into reading. But even though you're an adult (like me) it still enjoyable to read and helps you find magic even in the little things.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Mary is an orphan except her uncle has been found. She is going to live in his home. Mary doesn’t understand why she can’t see her uncle or check out the other rooms in the house. Eventually she goes outside to look at the gardens. One day she discovers a locked garden door. When she goes to ask the maid about it, the maid tells her no one can talk or go into that garden. The key has been thrown away. Mary does find the key and goes into the garden. It is an abandoned garden and gone wild. She d Mary is an orphan except her uncle has been found. She is going to live in his home. Mary doesn’t understand why she can’t see her uncle or check out the other rooms in the house. Eventually she goes outside to look at the gardens. One day she discovers a locked garden door. When she goes to ask the maid about it, the maid tells her no one can talk or go into that garden. The key has been thrown away. Mary does find the key and goes into the garden. It is an abandoned garden and gone wild. She decides to work on it. She meets a boy who can talk to animals when she leaves the garden. Later, she meets him again as her servant writes to her brother to buy and bring the seeds. Where will Mary grow the seeds? One night she hears a mysterious sound which the servant is answering Mary’s questing by telling her it’s the wind. She doesn’t believe it. Will she find out what makes the noise? I read “The Secret Garden” that is the original book. I must say that while it is a delightful graphic novel, I think that some of the magic of the abbreviated story is missing. I love the colors and drawings of the graphic novel illustrations. They are done so perfectly for this story. I enjoyed the story. Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I wasn’t obligated to write a favorable review or any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Path of Autumn Leaves

    *I was provided an electronic ARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for honest review* I'd like to start this review saying that unfortunately “The Secret Garden” isn’t one of my favourite children’s classic books, this because I’ve always found Mary, the main character, a little bit too capricious and childish in my own opinion. But this is my own problem, nothing to do with this adaptation. I’m very happy to say that this graphic novel adaptation based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s *I was provided an electronic ARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for honest review* I'd like to start this review saying that unfortunately “The Secret Garden” isn’t one of my favourite children’s classic books, this because I’ve always found Mary, the main character, a little bit too capricious and childish in my own opinion. But this is my own problem, nothing to do with this adaptation. I’m very happy to say that this graphic novel adaptation based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel was so well-done and detailed that I could stand that unpleasant character. Mary is just ten years old when she arrives in a Manor in the greyish Yorkshire countryside, after losing her parents and moved there from colourful India. She’s so sad and alone that her only pastime is discovering the surroundings in the garden of the Manor. Until she finds out a secret garden full of flowers and beautiful plants, but there’s even more to discover in this run-down place, and other mysteries to unveil…. As I wrote, this classic isn’t my cup of tea, but thanks to this graphic novel I enjoyed every moment, especially the parts in the secret garden: the illustrations were so vivid and with a few brush strokes the scenes were detailed and clear. So, not matter what are my thoughts on the classics, I highly recommend to give this graphic novel a chance, and I’m sure nobody will be disappointed after reading this cute graphic adaptation of a well-known children book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I make no secret that I am big fan of graphic novel adaptations. Anything that brings a new reader to a story they might not never have otherwise experienced is a positive, and Marsden's pervious adaptation of Anne of Green Gables has certainly seen a healthy circulation in my library. I think this one will be popular too. This is adaptation is sweet and soft, offering an overview of the classic story with simple, muted illustrations. Part of me wouldn't have minded a bit more contrast in the ima I make no secret that I am big fan of graphic novel adaptations. Anything that brings a new reader to a story they might not never have otherwise experienced is a positive, and Marsden's pervious adaptation of Anne of Green Gables has certainly seen a healthy circulation in my library. I think this one will be popular too. This is adaptation is sweet and soft, offering an overview of the classic story with simple, muted illustrations. Part of me wouldn't have minded a bit more contrast in the imagery--greater darkness in the house or in the flashbacks, a more vibrant world in the garden--but this is an adaptation that tells the story gently. I also feel like some of the aspects of the story, like Colin's longing for his father and the grief that dwells in Misselthwaite, weren't developed well enough for the ending to have the emotional impact that it should, but Marsden did the best with the page space allotted to her. And I absolutely loved some of the bits lifted directly from the book--Dickon's drawing, Martha's wages paying for the skipping rope, Colin and his mother's portrait, Mrs. Sowerby coming to the garden! I also really enjoyed the way the "magic" was represented in the artwork. All in all, this is a charming introduction to the original and a worth addition to any graphic novel collection that should be popular with younger independent readers or as a one-on-one read aloud. 3.5 Stars. ARC provided by NetGalley.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Angelica Dominguez

    First of all, thank Netgalley for providing me with this graphic novel. Having said this, I make it clear that my review will be completely honest. The graphic novel is the novelized version of the book of the same name The Secret Garden, a book that although I have not read (but I have) I already knew the story, since when I was a child I used to see the animated series that existed and the movie. It was a story that I loved and I liked to see the evolution of the characters, in this novel it sh First of all, thank Netgalley for providing me with this graphic novel. Having said this, I make it clear that my review will be completely honest. The graphic novel is the novelized version of the book of the same name The Secret Garden, a book that although I have not read (but I have) I already knew the story, since when I was a child I used to see the animated series that existed and the movie. It was a story that I loved and I liked to see the evolution of the characters, in this novel it shows us the story of Mary, who recently lost her parents and now has to live with her uncle, here she discovers that she has a living cousin locked in his room since he is sick and will die young so the servants of the house consent to everything, turning him into a spoiled child. We will also meet Dickon, the brother of one of the house maids, who will show him the beauty of the outside world. By accident Mary discovers a secret garden that belonged to her uncle's wife, but when she dies it is closed, and for fear that they will not let them go to this place anymore they decide to keep it a secret, here they can be free, and we can see how characters evolve, learn to be better people and influence adults. A beautiful story, obviously the story is summarized here, but it does not take away the beauty, the drawing is simple but it gives it a special touch, it is according to the story. for me it deserves a 4 out of 5 stars since the adaptation could have been a little longer.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kailey (Luminous Libro)

    This retelling of the Secret Garden in graphic novel form is lovely, but has some issues with story-telling. I liked it, but it also has some flaws. I liked the beautiful art style! The art is whimsical and sweet with bright colors. However, I didn't like that there were so many tiny panels on each page. It felt too busy. There is very little dialogue, which makes it difficult to follow the progression of the story. In the original novel, we get to see the gradual character development of Colin an This retelling of the Secret Garden in graphic novel form is lovely, but has some issues with story-telling. I liked it, but it also has some flaws. I liked the beautiful art style! The art is whimsical and sweet with bright colors. However, I didn't like that there were so many tiny panels on each page. It felt too busy. There is very little dialogue, which makes it difficult to follow the progression of the story. In the original novel, we get to see the gradual character development of Colin and Mary. But with so little dialogue to give the reader clues about what is happening on that internal journey for the characters, the characters seem to leap ahead with no indication of what made them change. There were a couple of places where the dialogue didn't make sense, because the story doesn't follow the natural progression of the original story. I think some of the scenes might have gotten mixed. In one scene, Mary tells Colin that Dickon is Martha's brother, and then in the very next scene, she mentions Dickon, and Colin asks, "Who is that?" Sloppy story-telling. I wish that they had stuck closer to the original story. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelleen Moriarty

    I've never read the original Secret Garden, but this graphic novel adaptation is so good it makes me want to. The piece is a beautiful exploration of friendship, nature, magic, and grief, told in exquisite hand-done done drawings that are so detailed and atmospheric. The graphic novel format allows the storytellers to zoom and focus the story on moments and details in a way that is so enticing. The book feels like a Victorian storybook with a fresh twist. I found the story itself to be lacking to I've never read the original Secret Garden, but this graphic novel adaptation is so good it makes me want to. The piece is a beautiful exploration of friendship, nature, magic, and grief, told in exquisite hand-done done drawings that are so detailed and atmospheric. The graphic novel format allows the storytellers to zoom and focus the story on moments and details in a way that is so enticing. The book feels like a Victorian storybook with a fresh twist. I found the story itself to be lacking to parts, especially when Mary Lennox didn't feel like a fully formed character and the story of Colin relied on ableist tropes. However, this is the fault of a century-old source text, and not the beautiful adaptation. The storytellers chose to leave out the backstory of British colonialism in India, but do address it in a section in the back of the book on “Places and Spaces in The Secret Garden.” Also included in the back of the book is an overview on the life of the original author of The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett, and a glossary of terms including flora and fauna, all of which I found to be enriching supplements to the graphic novel. Thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the ARC.

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