Sunday, 11 October 2015

Return to the Secret Garden Review and Giveaway - Blog Tour


Author: Holly Webb
Release Date: October 1st 2015
Genre: Historical MG
Publisher: Scholastic UK
Format: Hardback and E-book

It's 1939 and a group of children have been evacuated to Misselthwaite Hall. Emmie is far from happy to have been separated from her cat when she is 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...’ (Publisher’s blurb)

I was so happy to join this blog tour, because I adored ‘The Secret Garden’ as a child! It was one of those classics that drew me into a different world, and ever since I’ve loved visiting the gardens of old castles and stately homes (sadly I’ve never found a secret one though). The sequel is a beautifully written, delightful book that a new generation of children will love.

I don’t often review middle grade books, but I really enjoyed this one. I was pleased that it felt in keeping with the original book, as I feel quite protective of my childhood favourite! The writing style was lyrical and descriptive, creating a world and characters that felt very real.

Reading it reminded me of what it was like to be a child; that feeling of being so curious and excited about the world. Emmie’s narrative voice was perfect, both childlike and very evocative of the World War 2 time period.

Probably my favourite part of the book was the threads linking it to ‘The Secret Garden’. Without giving too much away, there were many allusions to the first book, such as wonderfully written excerpts from Mary Lennox’s diary.

I’d be hard pressed to say something I didn’t like about this book, even though I’m long past the target age range! The only issue some readers might have is that there isn’t masses of action, but I’d argue that’s the point of the book. I wanted to get wrapped up in the dream world of the secret garden again, and felt no desire for explosions or battles with mythical creatures (well, no more than usual).

I would highly recommend this book to people who loved the original, and anyone who wants to be immersed in a world that is somehow whimsical, and yet true to the pain and beauty of reality. Please go out and buy this book for yourself, or somebody else who will love it!

If you liked the sound of this, now try:
Goodnight Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce 

The lovely people at Scholastic are giving away a copy of The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett and a copy of Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb to one lucky blog tour follower! [UK AND IRL ONLY]. Please click on the link below to enter.

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