The Secret Garden, Retold as a Graphic Novel on 81st Street

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is one of those classic children's books that will live on bookshelves, be read and reread, and be adapted int whatever medium comes next, till the age of mankind is over. First serialised in 1910, then collected in 1911, it tells the story of Mary Lennox is a sickly, neglected, unloved 10-year-old girl, born in India to wealthy British parents, raised by servants to be a spoiled brat, now finding herself orphaned and fostered onto a relative who has even less care for her. Living a solitary life in an almost empty mansion, she is obsessed with finding the secret garden within its walls, which unlocks secrets about her uncle, the house and ultimately herself. It has been repeatedly adapted into movies in 1919, 1949, 1993 and again this year, written by Jack Thorne. Television saw an adaptation from the BBC in 1952, again in 1960 and again in 1975. Hallmark filmed an adaptation in 1987, a cartoon version by AVS in 1994, and a longrunning anime adaptation by NHK in 1991.

And now – a graphic novel, updated to contemporary times. The Secret Garden on 81st Street is a middle-grade graphic novel modern retelling of The Secret Garden by Ivy Noelle Weir and Amber Padilla. Publisher's Weekly reports it as a story about "entitled loner Mary Lennox moves to her uncle's house in New York after losing her parents in a car accident and makes friends who help her restore her uncle's abandoned rooftop garden and teach her to grieve and grow."

The Secret Garden, Retold as a Graphic Novel on 81st Street
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The project was acquired by Rachel Poloski at Little, Brown to be published in September 2021. Ivy Noelle Weir's agent Anjali Singh at Ayesha Pande Literary represented her, while Dara Hyde at Hill Nadell Literary represents Amber Padilla – though she was unrepresented at the time of the deal. Presumably, the publication arrangement soon fixed that…

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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