Books Quill Junior

The Secret Garden, a book review by Chua Wan Xuan

The author of The Secret Garden is Frances Hodgson Burnett, and was introduced by Sophie Dahl. The person who illustrated the book is Robin Lawrie and the main characters are Mary Lennox, Colin Craven and Dicken Sowerby. Mary Lennox was a very plain child who liked to throw tantrums, but after she went to Yorkshire, she slowly changed into a better person. Colin Craven was a boy who was locked away from the world, as his father and others thought that he would be a hunchback like his father, Archibald Craven. Dicken Sowerby was a boy who knew a lot about nature, and befriended many animals.

The Secret Garden is about a girl called Mary Lennox, whose household in India got hit by cholera and was the only person who survived. She was then sent to Yorkshire Manor, which her uncle Archibald Craven owned. There, she found the key to the Secret Garden and hence went inside. She also found out about her cousin; a boy called Colin Craven who was hidden away by his father and whom everyone thought was going to die. Mary made friends with Dicken, who had a gift with befriending animals. She trusted both of them, thus let them into the Secret Garden. Ben Weatherstaff was also let into the Secret Garden. Colin soon got better and could walk. Coincidentally, Mr. Craven came back to Yorkshire Manor and had a pleasant surprise when he found out that his son would live and could walk.

My favourite character is Dicken Sowerby, because he is very friendly and understands both people and animals. He is also very kind and was one of the people who brought life to the Secret Garden.

My least favourite character is Colin Craven, because he was a very spoilt child and was very bossy. He also liked to throw tantrums at other people. Even after he stopped throwing tantrums, he was still a bit bossy. For example, he forced Mary, Dicken and Ben Weatherstaff to listen to his lectures about Magic in the Secret Garden.

In the end, Mr. Craven came back to Yorkshire as he had a dream that he should go back to Yorkshire and also had a letter from Susan Sowerby to go back. When he went back to Yorkshire, he found out that his son could and would live.

In my opinion, I think that the ending was quite nice, as Mr. Craven returned home and was reunited with his son. Mary also found herself in a happy family as Mr. Craven finally got over his wife’s death. Mary and Colin also grew into nicer people.

I like how the Secret Garden came to life and how all of them were happy in the end. What I dislike about the story is how the characters sometimes speak their Yorkshire dialect. I find it rather hard to understand when they are speaking Yorkshire in the book, but not when speaking verbally, like face to face.

I recommend the book, The Secret Garden to children from the age of 9-12 years old as I think they will understand and treasure the story more. I believe that children from age 8 years and below might not understand the story, and for those who are above 13 years old, they might not believe in magic and find it a silly book.

GatheringBooks Quill Junior Contributor
Chua Wan Xuan
Primary 5 of CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School
** Special thanks to Jackeline Carter of Academy IG Pte Ltd for making this possible

7 comments on “The Secret Garden, a book review by Chua Wan Xuan

  1. Good work! Congratulation on having your review published.


    • myragarcesbacsal

      Hi Jackeline, thanks again for facilitating this. We look forward to receiving more reviews from your kids in Academy IG. =)


  2. myragarcesbacsal

    I remember this book vaguely when I read this as a child. What is more vivid though in my mind is the tv show that has been adapted from the story, there are quite a few animated versions of this tale, I believe. It would have been nice to source for youtube clips as well for this. I am glad that you enjoyed the classic and that you liked the “Yorkshire” aspect of the book – just goes to show that each book does speak with its own distinct voice. Great work, Wan Xuan. Looking forward to reading more reviews from you. – Dr Myra


  3. Chua Wan Ning

    Nice book review and congratulations on getting your book review published!


    • myragarcesbacsal

      Hi Wan Ning, we look forward to receiving more book reviews from you too! Are you sisters?


      • Chua Wan Ning

        Yes, we are sisters. I’ll try to write more book reviews and send them in.


  4. Foo Ru Xun

    nice one


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