The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was published in book form in 1911.
I had seen the movie as a kid when it came on the cable movie channels. I enjoyed it though Colin and Mary annoyed me. I finished reading the book earlier this week; it is in public domain which means its free online, so I downloaded it to my Kindle. Don't judge me, I still love a real book but if I can get books for free on my device I will and its a lot easier to carry books with me on a Kindle. It fits nicely in my purse, without all the weight of a real book. (I've ruined the lining of a few purses because of heavy books)
Anyway, the story of an orphaned brat, Mary Lennox, from India who is shipped back to York, England to be the ward of her uncle Archibald Craven and his closed up and creepy house. She is force to play outside every day where she begins to grow health and the mystery of the 100 locked rooms and the locked garden with its buried key intrigue Mary. She is befriended by a maid and her brother, Dickon, who is a Yorkshire boy and animal whisper.
Mary soon finds she has a cousin, Colin, that is her age but who is possibly even more spoiled and bratty than she because he has been sickly his whole life. Uncle Craven, Colin's father can not bear to be at his home so he travels and is away for long periods of time. Mary and Dickon befriend Colin. And together Mary and Colin grow stronger and healthier in the Secret Garden that Mary has been able to open up once more. The uncle comes back and is stunned to find his once sickly son healthy and happy. And they all live happily ever after!
I really enjoyed this book! I wish I had read it as a child; maybe then I'd love gardening and being outside! Even still reading this book reminded me of the carefree fun I had growing up, playing outside and keeping secrets and using your imagination. I really like seeing Mary's growth as a person; she is a child who was raised with everything being done for her and ends up in a place where there is no one to wait on her or entertain her all day. She learns to be polite, to share, and how to do things for herself. You see Mary begin the transition from childhood to early adolescence and the growing up she and Colin both must go through.
Definitely, a book worth reading and suggesting to a young person you know.