The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This classic chapter book tells the story of two children coming back to life as a garden they tend also comes back to life. Mary is a spoiled child raised in India. When her parents die of illness, she is sent to live with an unknown uncle in an isolated manor on the English moors. Her uncle is a distant and cold man, still mourning the loss of his wife years earlier. Mary is lonely and unhappy at first, but then she meets a local boy named Dickon who has a way with animals and is a friend to the local wildlife and discovers a garden locked behind a wall. The garden belonged to her late aunt and her uncle had it locked after her death. With Dickon’s help, Mary begins to tend to the garden in secret. As she works outdoors, her health and her attitude begin to improve. Unbeknownst to Mary, she has a cousin named Colin, an invalid afraid of everything who is locked away in the house. Mary comes upon him and this begins Colin’s transformation as Mary and Dickon befriend him and try to help him overcome his handicap. This is a beautiful, uplifting story of renewal with lovely descriptions of the English landscape that also teaches love and respect for nature and wildlife.