What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this beautifully written book shows two selfish, disagreeable children transformed by the magic of nature and their own imaginations as they work to bring a near-dead garden back to life.
What's the story?
Two cousins -- one motherless, the other an orphan -- are so monstrously spoiled that no one can stand them and they can hardly stand themselves. With the help of a boy of the moors and some natural magic, they discover an abandoned garden and return it to abundance. As the garden grows the children grow -- into their own better selves.
Is it any good?
If you think a book from 1911 might be too stodgy to interest children, think again. Children like Frances Burnett's ability to tell the truth about her characters without condemning them. Mistress Mary, quite contrary, "was a self-absorbed child," and Colin "thought the whole world belonged to him." But Burnett makes it clear that these children have been raised without their parents' love.
Children will first be caught by the mysterious world that unfolds, and then comforted to see Colin and Mary reclaim themselves, with a little help from Mother Nature and kind friends. Burnett sets a tone balanced between unflinching realism and high optimism -- not too hard, not too soft.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about consideration and neglect.
Who does the author hold responsible for the children's bad temperaments at the beginning of the book? Is that fair?