Saturday, August 2, 2008

What I read: a discovery!

I've always felt kind of bad because I never actually read The Secret Garden in my youth. I tried many times, picking up the familiar yellow paperback, but I could never get into it. I especially felt bad because I love the musical version. Well, today at work, things were so slow that I decided to pick up one of the books from the Puffin Classics display (I'm not sure why it's there, but if you buy two books, you get a free tote), and I thought I'd give The Secret Garden another try, maybe start further in. So I read the introduction, and then I started reading from the beginning, and about halfway through the first chapter it hit me: this was not the same book I'd tried to read so many times before. That yellow paperback, probably from the Scholastic book club, was actually a dumbed-down kids' version (which really doesn't make sense, since this is supposed to be a children's book, right?)! And I thought to myself, "No wonder I couldn't get into it before."
I noted later that the back said it was unabridged, so maybe I just read an abridged version. But what I remember involved things happening slightly different from what I read today. For example, I specifically remember the yellow paperback mentioning the children of the clergyman that takes in Mary dancing around her in a ring, taunting her, which doesn't happen in the actual book.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Quite a revalation. Just shows it's never too late! I'm always on the hunt for great children's books and have recently discovered Bayard and their series of StoryBoxBooks, AdventureBoxBooks and DiscoveryBoxBooks (which is a special Olympic edition) They have work by acclaimed children's books illustrator Helen Oxenbury appearing in the Storybox series for September. In addition to this, they also have some great activities for rainy days:,, Enjoy!