The Secret Garden

by Frances Hodgson Burnett
368 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Jeanne

Excellent read with valuable lessons; some spiritual content


When her parents die, Mary Lennox is sent to live in England with her uncle, Mr. Archibald Craven. There in the moors she makes friends for the first time and discovers a secret garden - a garden locked by Mr. Craven and into which no one has set foot for ten years.


Mary is extremely sour and content to order people about at the beginning of the tale, throwing tantrums if she doesn't get what she wants. Colin Craven, Mr. Archibald Craven's son, also has a habit of throwing temper tantrums. Both children shape up, however, and their behavior shown as wrong.

Mary also does a good bit of sneaking so as not to let any one know that she has gotten into the garden.

Spiritual Content

The children believe that there is good magic in the garden, and in the whole world. They chant in an attempt to call the Magic to help cure Colin's back.


When Weatherstaff mentions the man getting drunk, he also says that he beats his wife.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Ben Weatherstaff, the gardener, mentions a man getting drunk.

Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content



The Secret Garden is a sweet tale of friendship, love, and gentleness. The lessons it teaches are valuable for many ages.

The spiritual content should probably be explained to younger children, but does not detract from the quality of the tale.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 4.5
Written for Age: 8-10

Review Rating:

Average rating: 5 stars
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