Hello, readers! Have you enjoyed The Secret Garden? It’s the perfect book for this spring season, and whether it’s your first or fifth time reading it, the story is enchanting. We’ve got some discussion questions for you below—there’s so much good stuff to talk about in this book, you guys! We’d love to hear your thoughts! Share them with us on Instagram @larsbookclub .
This month’s poster and bookmark is by featured illustrator, Helen Dealtry, one of my absolute favorites. Her depiction of flowers is other worldly, just like the book, which is why we thought she was the perfect person for the job! We’ll be featuring her later in the month with an exclusive interview, but for now, download her poster and bookmark below and read some follow-up questions to the book!
The Secret Garden Discussion Questions
1. At the start of The Secret Garden, many people (and things) were abandoned, sad, and lonely: Archibald Craven, Colin Craven, Mary, the garden, even Misselthwaite Manor itself. What brings them all back to life? (ahem, see themes below…)
2. This book chock-full of wonderful lessons and themes: growth and renewal, healing, the power of nature, unselfishness, everyone’s need for companionship, just to name some. What else did you glean from this book? What other themes or ideas resonated with you??
3. The children (Colin, Mary, and Dickon) talk about “magic” throughout the story. As young children, it’s hard for them to describe or put into words what is changing them and the household of the manor. What do you think this “magic” is? Is it life? The power of positive thinking?
4. In certain versions of the movie, Mrs. Sowerby, Martha and Dickon’s mother, is eliminated completely. In the book we get to see how much their children, the people in town, and the people at Misselthwaite love and respect her. What role do Martha, Dickon, and their mother play in this story—and in Colin’s and Mary’s transformations?
5. In one part of the book, Burnett tells us that “Just as it had given her an appetite, and fighting with the wind had stirred her blood, so the same things had stirred her mind.” Mary came alive when obstacles were presented to her—how to reach the garden, how to entertain herself, how to find her way around, even how to dress herself! What does this quote say about the ability of trials or challenges to awaken us, or help us become stronger and better?
6. Though Mary states, “People never like me and I never like people”, she gradually grows to love the many people around her (much to her surprise, ha!). But first, Martha asks her how she likes herself, making Mary realize that love for herself must come first. Have you ever “not liked people”? What was the reason for that, and how did you change feeling that way?
Phew! Like I said, there’s so much to chat about in this book! 🙂 If you enjoyed The Secret Garden, you might like:
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
- The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Lars Book Club is run by Julie Richardson. | Artwork by Helen Dealtry