Cover Image: The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

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Member Reviews

The Secret Garden was one of the first classic novels I read when I was younger and is definitely one of my favorites. This graphic novel isn't as detailed as the book itself but I feel like it really manages to capture the main characters well. However, I wish there was more of Mary's uncle and of Dickon. It not having as much details impacted the story telling in some areas, in particular Mary's backstory, but I assume it was glossed over a bit because it is kind of sad and dark and this is a children's graphic novel. I wish more plotlines had also been explored. This was a very comforting and heart warming short read and I really enjoyed the way it brought me back to my childhood. The art is simply gorgeous and I love the colors.
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What a delightful little adaptation of The Secret Garden!  This style of graphic novel is one of my favourites to buy for my classroom library.  Graphic novel adaptations of children's classics can be a great way to introduce kids to some of these older novels.  They are often much more interested in reading the full novel after (or, alternatively, I have some students who have read the classic who then love to read the graphic novel afterwards!).  

I found this to be a nice adaptation for the format.  The main gist of the story is faithfully retold.  I worry that some of the details of the original story may go over the heads of some of my readers as there is a fair amount of interpretation needed at points.  I appreciate some of the choices that the author made to not include some parts of the original which is addressed at the end of the book.  The information section at the end is concise, clearly-written and adds interesting details to the overall book.  

The best part of this adaptation was the illustrations.  They were absolutely breathtaking!  The style was simple and clean but really captured the transition from winter to spring in the moors of England beautifully.  I would love to see the full page spreads in person!
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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 admit that one of my own nieces (currently 8 yrs old) loves reading 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. 

<I>Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.</I>
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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.
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Coming into this graphic novel without the nostalgia of previous adaptations definitely hinders the reading experience of Marsden's The Secret Garden. The charm and wordless-ness of the world is lovely, but much of the characters personality and plot gets lost in it. The art varies from carefully detailed, to feeling sloppy and unfinished, and at times the intricate, floral layouts takeover too much of the pages real-estate. For children who already are fond of the film or novel, this would be a nice addition to have, but otherwise I would not recommend this comic.
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The Secret Garden is a gorgeous, vivid, and beautifully-illustrated visual retelling of a classic. I would love to share this book with students in classroom libraries and school libraries. Wonderful graphic novel work!
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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!
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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.
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I received an eARC of this title in return for an honest review. 

I loved this adaptation of The Secret Garden. I thought it was accessible to its audience with all the notes afterwards. It’s a great way to introduce children to different words and biographies. 

The story itself was very much written for children which is its intended audience. The story was watered down enough to keep the reader interested, but kept all the important aspects of the story. 

I loved the artwork. I think it would even look better in print with the panels and full page art.
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I loved this book! Growing up, The Secret Garden was one of my favorite stories. I was aprehensive starting this, how could anything ever live up to the original? 

This book managed to capture all of the magic and wonder of the original in such a unique and beautiful way. The illustrations brought new life to Mary, Collin, Dickon, and the rose garden and transported me back to the wonderful world of the book. 

I also loved how the colonisation aspect of the novel was retold. Mary's time in India and her parents were not glorified as they were in the original but instead revisited much more briefly. The informational passage at the end was respectful, thoughful and brought this story into the modern world as something every child can enjoy. 

Seeing people put thought and care into a story I love so much makes very, very happy.
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This was such a lovely read!
I don’t remember much from the original The Secret Garden, but this graphic novel can definitely be read and enjoyed by people who never read the original story.
The illustrations were absolutely beautiful and I absolutely recommend reading this!
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What a lovely graphic novel version of The Secret Garden!  I appreciate that the story was paired-down and streamlined and would make a good introduction to the work for an early reader.  The illustrations were simple yet expressive and I enjoyed the full-page illustrations of the garden and grounds.  I appreciated some of the choices the illustrator took with framing characters; adult characters were sometimes shown from a child's perspective.  The book starts with a muted color palette that gives way way to more colors as the garden and characters come to life.  After the story, the book includes an age-appropriate explanation of colonialism in India and pandemic that felt timely.  In all, I look forward to purchasing a hard copy of this book to add to my library.
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I loved revisiting this childhood favorite through a new genre. The imagery was beautiful and really added to the story. It's been so long since I last read The Secret Garden and I loved how the story felt like both an old friend and a new tale altogether. I cannot wait to share this with my nephew!
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My initial thought was that the cover of The Secret Garden graphic novel was very pretty but once I looked inside, WOW! The illustrations throughout are even more stunning! With so much artistic detail, it shows that this graphic novel was a labour of love. This graphic novel follows the original story fairly closely but with a few modern changes that I really appreciated. I loved the additional information at the end, particularly the reasons why the author and illustrator made the changes they did. 

I would highly recommend this graphic novel for all ages of The Secret Garden fans! I would also recommend the Anne of Green Gables graphic novel that was adapted by Mariah Marsden too.

Thank you to NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.
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This is a very simplistic and watered down version of the original story, but I think it is enough to entice a reader to pick up the novel. The artwork is beautiful and has the transportive and ethereal quality to it that lends itself to the text. I think this would prove a worthy addition to my middle school library collection.
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I really enjoyed this. It is a great way of telling the original story. Although I know the story, I dont think I have read the book. I saw a dramatisation of this many years ago and reading this version has nudged me to read the original. 

I thought the artwork was quite simple but that simplicity enabled the story to be told with the appropriate amount of text. I don't like my graphic novels to have a lot of prose. I like to be able to look at the artwork and hear the story through the pictures and this book manages to do this quite well.

I think this book will encourage both younger and older audiences to read the original. I fully intend to.

Copy provided via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review
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Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me access to an eARC of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review!


The secret garden will always be a story close to my heart as I used to watch the movie on repeat with my Nana when I was little and this beautiful graphic novel really did justice on the story! The story was easy to follow and the illustrations were just beautiful. The depiction of nature was amazing and the illustrations really bought the characters and the garden to life!

I would definitely recommend this if you’re a fan of the secret garden and are looking for some beautiful illustrations to go along with it!
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Thank you Netgalley and Publishers for an eARC of this book. 
Growing up me and my sister loved watching The Secret Garden movie, so when I saw this one NetGalley I knew I had to read it. When Reading it, it made me feel very reminiscent of my childhood.
I am giving this book a three because while it is a great story, it just went by too fast and didn't have a lot of "meat on its bone". What I did love was the art style. it was so bright and colorful.
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The Secret Garden was one of my favorite books when I was a kid and also the 1993 film was one of my all-time favorite movies. I adored this story with all my heart at one time and it's been quite some time since I have experienced it. 

I have to say that this graphic novel version was absolutely beautiful. The illustrations were incredible, especially of the garden. The full two-page spreads are stunning. As an adaptation, it was really good from what I can remember of the story. I definitely will be picking up this book again soon. 

I highly recommend this graphic novel for fans of this beautiful story and also to those that are new to the story. It was a great representation of a story that I have such fond memories of. I will definitely be picking up my own copy of this beauty. 

*Thank you to Netgalley for my Advance Reader's Copy of this beautiful book. All opinions are my own*
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Just completed the graphic novel The Secret Garden by Mariah Marsden and Hanna Luechtefeld.  The story was a very stripped down text based on the original classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  The illustrations were sumptuous.  It was simply a pleasure to look at.  I gave this 4 stars based on the illustrations.
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