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Return to the Secret Garden

Return to the Secret Garden

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Return to the Secret Garden

4/5 (5 valoraciones)
201 página
2 horas
Nov 1, 2016


"Return to the Secret Garden and enjoy the wonder of childhood and the magic of friendship in this sequel that is sure to warm the hearts of young readers everywhere"—Shelf Awareness

As she turned it the door creaked a little and opened inwards...

The only friend Emmie Hatton has ever had at the Craven Home for Orphaned Children is Lucy, the little black kitten that visits her on the fire escape every day. But when the children of Craven Home are evacuated out of London because of the war, heartbroken Emmie is forced to leave sweet Lucy behind. The children are sent to Misselthwaite Manor, a countryside mansion full of countless dusty rooms and a kind, if busy, staff. Emmie even finds a gruff gardener and an inquisitive little robin that just might become new friends.

And soon, in the cold, candle-lit nights at Misselthwaite, Emmie starts discovering the secrets of the house—a boy crying at night, a diary written by a girl named Mary, and a very secret, special garden...

Kids will love to return to the world of The Secret Garden with this enchanting new book that will delight fans of the original story and new readers alike!

Perfect for anyone looking for books:
  • for 9-12 year old girls and boys.
  • to give as gifts to the tweens in their life!
  • to add to their homeschool materials.
  • Editorial:
    Nov 1, 2016

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    Return to the Secret Garden - Holly Webb

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    Copyright © 2015 by Holly Webb

    Cover and internal design © 2019 by Sourcebooks, Inc.

    Cover design by Sourcebooks, Inc.

    Cover artwork by Sara Gianassi

    Sourcebooks and the colophon are registered trademarks of Sourcebooks, Inc.

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission in writing from its publisher, Sourcebooks.

    The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious and are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

    Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, an imprint of Sourcebooks

    P.O. Box 4410, Naperville, Illinois 60567-4410

    (630) 961-3900


    Originally published as Return to the Secret Garden in 2015 in the United Kingdom by Scholastic Children’s Books, an imprint of Scholastic Ltd.

    The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition as follows:

    Names: Webb, Holly, author.

    Title: Return to the secret garden / Holly Webb.

    Description: Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, [2016] | Originally published...in 2015 in the United Kingdom by Scholastic Children's Books, an imprint of Scholastic Ltd.--Copyright page. |

    Summary: As World War II begins, London orphan Emmie is unhappy to be evacuated to an old mansion in the Yorkshire countryside until she starts discovering the secrets of the house--a boy crying at night, a diary written by a girl named Mary, and a very secret garden.

    Identifiers: LCCN 2015044674 | (13 : alk. paper)

    Subjects: | CYAC: Orphans--Fiction. | Gardens--Fiction. | World War, 1939-1945--Evacuation of civilians--Great Britain--Fiction. | Yorkshire (England)--History--20th century--Fiction. | Great Britain--History--George VI, 1936-1952--Fiction.

    Classification: LCC PZ7.W3687 Re 2016 | DDC [Fic]--dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2015044674


    Front Cover

    Title Page


    Chapter One

    Chapter Two

    Chapter Three

    Chapter Four

    Chapter Five

    Chapter Six

    Chapter Seven

    Chapter Eight

    Chapter Nine

    Chapter Ten

    Chapter Eleven

    An Excerpt from A Little Princess Finds Her Voice

    About the Author

    Back Cover

    For my mother.

    It’s 1939, and a group of children have been evacuated to Misselthwaite Manor. Emmie is far from happy to have been separated from her cat and sent to a huge, old mansion. But soon, she starts discovering the secrets of the house—a boy crying at night, a diary written by a girl named Mary, and a garden.

    A very secret garden…



    The children marched down the street in a long line of twos, and only one of them looked back. The others didn’t turn because they didn’t need to. There was nothing to look back for. Everything they owned was with them—a few clothes, a battered, shapeless stuffed toy here and there. Each of them carried a paper bag and a gas mask, and that was all they had.

    Emmie trailed, peering over her shoulder, so that Arthur, behind her, gave her a shove to tell her to keep up. She kicked him swiftly and walked backward instead, still trying to see.

    But Lucy wasn’t there. It was stupid to expect that she would be anyway, Emmie thought. Lucy hardly ever came out onto the street. She was shy, and she hated loud noises. Emmie still stared though, hoping to see the small, black cat peering after her around the corner of the tall house. Lucy had probably fled out into the backyard, Emmie decided miserably. She kicked Arthur again because he was smirking at her—and because she felt like it.

    Emmeline Hatton!

    Emmie whipped around with a sigh. Of course Miss Dearlove hadn’t seen Arthur giving her a push. She never did see. Me, miss? she asked innocently, trying to look as though she didn’t know what was the matter.

    The matron glared at her. No, the other Emmeline Hatton. Of course you! You bad-tempered little girl, how dare you kick Arthur like that?

    He pushed me… Emmie started to say, but Miss Dearlove didn’t bother to listen. She grabbed Emmie by the arm and hauled her up to the front of the line. She was a tiny lady, not actually much bigger than Emmie, but Emmie didn’t dare pull away. She had known Miss Dearlove forever. The matron was like a busy little clockwork train, wound up into a clicking fuss of pure crossness. It was best not to get in her way—but somehow Emmie always did.

    You can walk here with Miss Rose and the babies since you can’t be trusted to behave like a ten-year-old. Why is it always you? And after your ridiculous behavior this morning as well. As if we haven’t got enough to worry about. She glanced down at her watch. Miss Rose, we need to hurry. The station’s bound to be busy, and there isn’t that much time to spare. She scuttled down to the end of the line again with one last growled Behave! to Emmie.

    Miss Rose was usually less bad-tempered than the matron, but even she eyed Emmie and sighed. Today of all days, Emmie? I would have thought you’d have more sense.

    He shoved me, Emmie muttered. She knew that wasn’t quite true, but she wasn’t letting them have the last word. It isn’t fair. Why do I always get into trouble? She walked down the street next to Miss Rose, seething and muttering to herself. If she huffed and growled, she wouldn’t cry, and she wasn’t going to give Arthur Banks the satisfaction of that, however much Miss Rose frowned.

    They had been told the day before that they were leaving. Miss Dearlove had stood up at the end of breakfast and explained that since war was expected to be declared within a few days, the Craven Home for Orphaned Children would be evacuated somewhere safe.

    No one knew what evacuation meant, except that it was vaguely connected with the rows of brown boxes on the shelves in the schoolroom, which contained the gas masks. Once a week for the last few months, they had pulled the masks on and sat staring at each other, snout-nosed and goggle-eyed. After the first few tries, Arthur had figured out how to make a rude noise, a sort of farting snort around the rubber facepiece. He did it every time now, and they all laughed. Even Miss Dearlove didn’t sound that cross when she told him off.

    But Emmie had dreamed of those huge, round eyes almost every night since. The glass lenses of the masks leaned over her, stooping down close and staring. The gas masks were supposed to help them breathe, Miss Dearlove said, but when Emmie thought of her mask, sealed away in its flimsy cardboard box, she found her breath catching in her throat. Where was this gas going to come from anyway? No one had said. Arthur and his friend Joey said it would be dropped by planes, but all the gas that Emmie knew about came in pipes to the kitchen for the stoves. She didn’t see how it could be carried in a plane. If only someone would explain, she thought bitterly, kicking at a crack in the pavement as they marched on. Where were they going—and why? What was happening? No one told them anything. They didn’t need to know. They just got packed up like their clothes and sent away…

    Look. The little girl Emmie had been shoved next to tugged at her sleeve.

    What? Emmie muttered, not looking.

    Over there. Ruby pointed across the road. See, Emmie, there! Do you think they’re being evacuated too?

    Emmie turned and saw that they were passing a school, where a long column of children was lining up on the playground. They were carrying an assortment of battered cases and brown paper bags, and there were labels tied onto their coats.

    I suppose so.

    Just like us… Ruby said thoughtfully. I didn’t know everybody was.

    We have to get out of the cities—in case of planes flying over, Emmie said vaguely. All the children do. That was what the boys had thought anyway. They had been lurking around the matron’s sitting room, listening to the news broadcasts, so Emmie supposed it was possible they were right. The children on the playground did look a lot like them, except that there were mothers huddling around them and even a few fathers. They were pushing packets of sandwiches into children’s pockets, hugging them, and running along beside them as the line of children started to snake out onto the street. The children marched away, following two older boys who had a banner with the school’s name stitched onto it. Almost like a procession, Emmie thought.

    Some of the schoolchildren were crying, Emmie noticed. A lot of the smaller ones were clinging to their mothers, pale faced and bewildered. They didn’t seem to know what was happening either. But some of the others looked happy, swinging their cases as if they were off on holiday. Perhaps they were—they might end up at the seaside.

    Emmie blinked thoughtfully. She was almost sure she’d never been out of London. Until now, she hadn’t really thought about where they were going. She’d been too worried about what they were leaving behind. Maybe those two boys in the line with grins all over their faces were right. It was an adventure…

    But almost all the mothers were brushing tears away quickly with the sides of their hands so as not to be seen. Emmie shivered. She supposed the children from the Home were lucky—all the adults they knew were coming with them. It didn’t make her feel lucky though. She tried to remember the softness of Lucy’s head bumping against her fingers, the warmth of her breath as the little cat nuzzled against her. But all she could hear was Ruby, grumbling because she was tired and her shoes were too tight.

    They hadn’t gone all that far, but the streets were so much busier than the quiet area around the Craven Home. Even Emmie felt tired, with so many people pressing around her and the constant roar of cars and carts and buses along the bustling street. On any other day, it would have been fun to stand on one of those islands in the road and watch and wonder where all these people were streaming off to. Today, Emmie wished she was back sitting in the window of her dormitory, peering out at the street to see the grocer’s van and a car every so often. She’d wished for something to happen, something exciting, and now it had.

    We’re almost there, Ruby, Miss Rose said soothingly. The station’s just along the road there. Do you see? The clock tower and the name underneath: King’s Cross.

    The station was huge, with two great, curving arched windows across the front, like tunnel mouths.

    London and North Eastern Railway? Are we going northeast then, miss? Emmie demanded sharply, looking at the rest of the white letters along the roof. But Miss Rose ignored her, starting to hurry the line of children across the road. A policeman waved them over, holding up a line of buses and smiling down at little Ruby clutching her faded bear.

    There were other lines of children converging on the station now. Hundreds of them, marching along like little ants. More and more poured out of buses, labeled, carrying parcels and bags and battered cases. Emmie had never seen so many people her own age before. How many were going out of London?

    Miss Rose slowed as she walked them past the scattering of shops around the front of the great building and glanced around anxiously for Miss Dearlove.

    What is it? Emmie asked. Miss Rose looked so suddenly uncertain. All the staff at the Home had been brisk and decided about the move, brushing away questions and urging the children to complete their meager packing. Now for the first time, Emmie wondered if they were as confused and worried as the children. Mrs. Evans, the cook, was clutching her big, black handbag against her front like a shield.

    Nothing, Emmie! Miss Rose replied sharply. She was glancing back and forth between the sandbags built up around the doorway and a flight of steps down—still with a sign to the Underground but blocked off with a great pile of bits of broken stone. She glanced down at Emmie with a bright smile that showed her teeth. I just wasn’t quite sure which door we were to take, that’s all. We must expect everything to look a little different in wartime, mustn’t we? she added in a comforting, singsong voice as though Emmie had been the scared one.

    Miss Rose didn’t allow herself to be daunted by the huge space inside the station or the milling crowd of children. She straightened her shoulders and hurried them in, then started counting everybody again in case one of the twenty orphans had disappeared on the way. Emmie didn’t think any of them would have dared. Not with those planes coming—and the gas. She had thought about running away before—on days when nothing happened and no one spoke to her. But that had been before she found Lucy.

    Miss Dearlove marched over to a man in a station uniform. He frowned down at his list and eventually pointed across to one of the farthest platforms. Then he checked his watch and pointed again, flapping his hands.

    The matron came trotting back to them and caught Emmie’s hand, pulling at her sharply. We haven’t much time. Come along, all of you. No dawdling. There are only so many extra trains for the evacuated schools, she added to Miss Rose. The timetable is all upset. If we miss this one, we’ll have to wait hours. She glanced irritably down at Emmie as she spoke, as if it were her fault that they were late.

    The train was already steaming as the children hurtled onto the platform and a porter flung the doors open for them, bundling them in as Miss Rose and Miss Dearlove and Mrs. Evans wrestled with bags and food baskets.

    Emmie collapsed onto a padded seat, clutching her brown paper bag of clothes and staring out the window. She could see another train at the next platform with a girl gazing back at her. She smiled faintly, recognizing the strange girl’s expression of fear and excitement. There was even something

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    Lo que piensa la gente sobre Return to the Secret Garden

    5 valoraciones / 5 Reseñas
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    • (4/5)
      Since I've yet to finish a book yet this year, I thought it was a good time to go ahead and work on the reviews that I never had a chance to post last year. Which, especially in the case of Return to the Secret Garden, is a shame. This book was absolutely adorable, and I wish I'd been on top of my reviews enough to give it the pre-release love that it deserved. On the bright side, hopefully I'm reminding some of you out there of its existence, and it will scoot up your reading lists after this review.

      First off, I feel it's only fair to explain to you that the original book is one of my all time favorites. Coupled with that, is the fact that Holly Webb is one of my all time favorite Middle Grade writers. So, you can easily see that my expectations were high here. I was so thrilled that the sequel to my favorite book would be done by one of my favorite authors. It doesn't get any more perfect than that! I was so eager to make my way back to Misselthwaite, and explore it with new eyes. I'm happy to say, I wasn't disappointed.

      Much like the Mary we remember, Emmie is a little tough to love at first. An orphan, Emmie is used to mainly caring for herself and is, as such, a bit distant. Still, I could tell right away that she was a spitfire at heart. Her deep thoughts, her love for her adopted stray cat, all of it pulled me in to her world. It wasn't obvious early on how she would be tied in to the Misselthwaite of old, but I knew she'd fit in just wonderfully.

      As it turns out, I was right. The backdrop of this book is the Blitz and it sets the stage expertly for Emmie's transition to her new home. I loved watching her go through the same kinds of feelings as her predecessor. It was that moment when she stepped into the garden though, that really had me rapt. Holly Webb evoked that same magic, the same air of sweet mystery, that the original book so wonderfully had. I ate it up. Even if the original characters hadn't been tied into this, which they absolutely are, I would have been happy just with this small piece of my childhood restored. Stepping back into the secret garden with new eyes was a wonderful feeling.

      Truth be told, I really wanted to give this five stars. It was missing this small something that I couldn't fit my finger on though, and so I settled with four. It's really a fabulous book though, and I highly recommend it as an addition to your TBR! Emmie will steal your heart and, if she doesn't succeed alone, so will your new trip into the secret garden.
    • (4/5)
      Holly Webb has written a sweet sequel to "The Secret Garden". I liked how she wove her novel around Frances Hodgson Burnett's original story and brought in the well-loved characters of Mary, Colin, Martha and Dickon. It made the book feel familiar and new at the same time. A nice read.
    • (4/5)
      Thirty years after Mary Lennox discovers the locked door to a walled garden, Emmie Hatton and the rest of the children at a London orphanage are evacuated to Misselthwaite Manor because of the war. Emmie is thin and sullen, much like Mary herself once was. She misses her cat, and dislikes Jack, the son of the house, who is mean and snobbish. But then Emmie discovers a diary, and a garden, and hears someone crying in the dark...Webb writes with obvious fondness for her source material, though some of the choices she makes are not the ones I would have chosen for the original characters. However, it's still fun to read and make connections. The new story is rather slight in comparison, and I don't think the book would really appeal to readers who have not read the original. But if you're a fan, it's a pleasant and sometimes bittersweet read.
    • (4/5)
      It has been a long time since I read "The Secret Garden" but as I read this, a lot of it came back to me. This is a sequel but it is written in a different style and much more child friendly. Holly Webb has this story take place in 1939 when a group of orphans have been evacuated from London and are now living in Misselthwaite Hall. The theme of being abandoned and forced to move somewhere new and foreign is the same feeling that Emmie has in this book as Mary did in the original. Emmie, the main character is an orphan, or at least has no parents that claim her. She is stubborn, can be mean spirited and speaks her mind. Her only friend is her stray cat that she is forced to leave behind when they evacuate. When she finds Mary's diaries in her room, she reads them and falls in love with the Magical Secret Garden. She finds the door to the garden and it is no longer locked. She spends many hours there and begins to find solace and happiness with the flowers and the robin that lives in the hedge. When the old gardener befriends her, she tells him about her cat. Mr. Craven, who is in the navy, hears about the cat, finds it and brings it to Emmie when he is home on a visit. Emmie also befriends Jack, the Craven's son and they work magic on one another. The garden becomes their "Garden of Secrets."Emmie's character is well developed throughout the story. It is wonderful to see her go from being lonely, frustrated and angry to healing others around her and finally becoming part of something very special. It was wonderful to see the characters from the original novel in this story, all grwon up. I think the themes of loneliness, love of nature, secrets and friendship are shown and developed in this book. Now to get out the movie and watch it again with my grandchildren. A nice sequel that children will enjoy and even their parents. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
    • (3/5)
      Return to the Secret Garden is by and large a loving homage to the original, rather than an exercise in cashing in on a classic. Set 30 years after Mary Lennox turned Misselthwaite Manor on its head, the book sees ten-year-old orphan Emmie Hatton being evacuated from the Craven Home for Orphaned Children as war breaks out. Separated from her beloved Lucy (a black street moggy she has befriended with fish paste sandwiches) and mocked by the heartless boys she has grown up with, Emmie arrives at Misselthwaite lonely and in much need of comfort. Like Mary before her, she finds solace in the gardens, a gruff, scarred gardener who works in them and a certain cheeky robin. If you're looking for one of those sequels that basically retreads familiar ground, we're off to a flying start. Cries in the night and a lonely young Craven boy soon get added to the mix.Holly Webb has a good turn of phrase, and the narrative embraces themes of bullying, isolation and hope as fierce, lonely Emmie Hatton learns to make connections, helping to heal a household under the shadow of war. It's perfectly decent stuff, if a little bland, and the parallels to Hodgson Burnett’s classic are unmistakable. Here’s the rub - I think the novel would have been stronger if it had been inspired by The Secret Garden, but not framed as a sequel.In claiming the mantle of a classic, you set up a world of expectation. It is of course an authorial prerogative to approach it as you wish, but as a reader I expect the author to (try and) match the tone and style of the original; I certainly expect a good deal of continuity in terms of characterisation. Sadly, this is where Webb’s novel falls short for me.The style here is thoroughly modern. One of the things I love in the original is the prose itself, which begs to be read aloud. We are taken by the hand by an entirely present omniscient narrator, who isn’t above a fair bit of preaching, but who largely shows us the characters feelings and thoughts through their dialogue - and then adds a bit of acerbic commentary of her own. Webb's sequel focuses closely on Emmie’s perspective, holding us inside her head and telling us her thoughts and feelings. There’s nothing wrong with this - it’s a more modern way of telling the story, and Emmie is a great character - but it doesn't lend itself to reading aloud as well and it results in a very different tone (not that I missed the moralising!)I think the choice to set the novel decades later is a gift. In growing up, we all expect for the original trio of children to have changed, and this gulf in time - made even larger by the impact of the Great War - neatly papers over cracks that might otherwise be too glaringly obvious. But Webb chooses to tie the two novels more closely together by having Emmie discover Mary Lennox’s diaries. Unfortunately, the diaries don’t read (to me at least) like Mary's words. Instead, they feel like a sanitised recap of that older novel for readers who are less familiar with it.I also felt that the novel didn't entirely succeed in conveying the emotional landscape of the Craven family - Mrs Craven and Jack go through the ringer here, and while there are some lovely scenes illustrating their reactions, Emmie's constrained perspective robbed me of the sympathetic punch I expected (Emmie is more concerned at being kept out of her beloved garden, and much too young to know what Mrs Craven is going through). This was particularly telling at the end, where Emmie gets her emotional resolution, but the Cravens don't.It's a shame, as this is otherwise a perfectly fine children's book about wartime and displacement - both of which I think are important themes given current events.It will probably work just fine for readers who are less judgmental (I know I'm awkward) and younger readers who will probably be delighted to revisit the Garden and the robin regardless - hell, I would have liked it just fine if I'd read it aged 10. As an adult though, it falls short of the mark.(Full disclosure seems a little redundant on this occasion, but just to be transparent: I received an advanced copy to review)