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Publisher's Summary

Mary Lennox, a sickly and contrary little girl, is orphaned to dim prospects in a gloomy English manor - her only friend is a bed-ridden boy named Colin, whose prospects may be dimmer than hers. But when Mary finds the key to a Secret Garden, the magical powers of transformation fall within her reach.

A beloved classic of children's literature The Secret Garden tells an inspirational tale of transformation and empowerment.

Public Domain (P)2011 Trout Lake Media

Featured Article: The Best Audiobooks for Kids


Whether you’re getting ready to embark on a cross-country road trip with the whole family or just want a new chapter book to enjoy at bedtime, each superb story on this list is a great place to start. Each a tale of whimsy and adventure brought to life with the help of talented voice actors like Jim Dale, Kate Winslet, Neil Patrick Harris, and more, these imaginative listens—fan favorites, classics, and newcomers alike—are sure to be loved by young listeners. Inspire them to stand up for themselves, speak their minds, and embrace their exceptional uniqueness. Here are the best audiobooks for kids.

What listeners say about The Secret Garden

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    627
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    231
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    110
  • 2 Stars
    35
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    43
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    186
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    103
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    44
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    57
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    604
  • 4 Stars
    163
  • 3 Stars
    60
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    20

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Shockingly bad narration

I gave up on this version half-way through Chapter 4. The narration by Victoria McGee was horrendous. Like other reviewers, I was instantly reminded of Apple’s automaton Siri. Despite this reaction, I decided to persist. But when the character of Martha Sowerby was introduced in Chapter 4, McGee launches the most ludicrous, inauthentic Yorkshire accent I’ve ever heard. It was comedic in its dreadfulness.

It was so bad; I instantly switched it off and succumbed to my curiosity – I Googled the narrator. Everything else I heard from McGee was so different (i.e. fantastic) I can only assume this is a terrible and unfortunate anomaly from an otherwise talented voice-artist.

I’ve just purchased another version, with a different narrator.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book but the reader sounded robot like.

If you could sum up The Secret Garden in three words, what would they be?

Great Classic Read!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Garden?

I love Ms Mary. She has an awesome spirit!

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I understand that the language itself was probably hard to do, but the performer I thought was very robot-like and just didn't sound right. Almost like a new reader in grade school. That's a bummer because I think sometimes that can make or break an audio book. Good for the author the storyline was wonderful! As expected in a classic!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I love it when Ms Mary tells Collin off for being a bratt

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • JJ
  • 09-12-13

A classic book, but it the narration is awful

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I love this story, and have reread it many times, but I cannot recommend this audio version. The narrator is robotic and reminds me strongly of Siri. Unfortunately the stilted narration takes away from the enjoyment of the story.

How could the performance have been better?

A more emotional narrator!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not one of the better children's books

While The Secret Garden is considered by some to be a classic, it is not a very interesting book for children. I could name dozens of excellent such books, but will name only The BFG which is a truly wonderful book for children.

Narration is not great, but it is not nearly as bad as some reviewers rate it.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story / narration

Enjoyed every second of it. The narrator could've varied the character voices a little more but that didn't take a whole lot away from the story.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The narrator ruins it.

What disappointed you about The Secret Garden?

I love this story, but the narrator was appalling. My little girl and I have been listening to it, and she still likes it, but it's a wonder she cares for the story at all with such lifeless and robotic narration, with a very odd rhythm to her reading too. I'm about to abandon listening to it because it's that bad. Plus, by rights, an English story should have an English narrator to do it full justice.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Garden?

My shock at the narration from minute one!

How did the narrator detract from the book?

In every way.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment only because of the narration. It's a marvelous book.

Any additional comments?

Do yourself a favor, and get a different copy with a different narrator.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • BC
  • 04-25-19

Love this Audio

I love this audio so much i listened it on a seven hour drive and the drive went by so fast! It helped me a lot

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, stilted narrator

classic story I'd always meant to read. The narrator sounds like a GPS voice when she's not doing dialogue, though.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Disappointing reading of a favorite story

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I loved this book as a kid and bought it to re-read before seeing the musical/play. The woman reading it speaks clearly, but "broad Yorkshire" accents are crucial to the spirit of the story and totally missing from the narrator's range.

Would you be willing to try another one of Victoria McGee’s performances?

Only if she doesn't have to do anything other than an American female's voice.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Favorite

This was my favorite children's book. I remember carrying my copy of it around until it fell to pieces. I think every little girl should have a chance to fall in love with Mary, Collin and Dicken.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Joanna
  • 06-02-12

Disappointed by the narrator

This is a wonderful book which I have read twice before. I was eager to hear it as an audiobook. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the narrator's voice. I found the choice of an American narrator an odd choice for this classic English story. More than that, I found Victoria McGee's voice stilted, almost like the voice of a telephone announcer. I was so put off that I have only listened to the beginning of the audiobook. I intend to try again, but I was very disappointed that I found the narrator so hard to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • iamcarla
  • 09-08-21

Audio is distracting

The audio sounds like it is been synthesized from the text to speech by a computer. The intonation is really weird.