The Secret Garden on 81st Street: A Modern Retelling of the Secret Garden by Ivy Noelle Weir
Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel
Publishing Date: October 19, 2021
The Secret Garden with a twist: in this follow-up to Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, this full-color graphic novel moves Mary Lennox to a New York City brownstone, where she and her very first group of friends restore an abandoned rooftop garden…and her uncle’s heart.
Mary Lennox is a loner living in Silicon Valley. With her parents always working, video game and tech become her main source of entertainment and “friends.” When her parents pass away in a tragic accident, she moves to New York City to live with her uncle who she barely knows, and to her surprise, keeps a gadget free home. Looking for comfort in this strange, new reality, Mary discovers an abandoned rooftop garden and an even bigger secret…her cousin who suffers from anxiety. With the help of her new friends, Colin and Dickon, Mary works to restore the garden to its former glory while also learning to grieve, build real friendships, and grow.
About the Author:
LIvy Noelle Weir is a writer of comics and prose. She is the co-creator of the Dwayne McDuffie Award-winning graphic novel Archival Quality (Oni Press), the upcoming The Secret Garden on 81st Street (Little, Brown for Young Readers), and her writing has appeared in anthologies such as Princeless: Girls Rock (Action Lab Entertainment) and Dead Beats (A Wave Blue World). She lives in the greater Boston area with her husband and their two tiny, weird dogs.
First off I want to thank TBR Tours & Beyond for allowing me a spot on the tour and to the Publishers for sending me a Netgalley Arc so that I can read and review.
I admit I never have read The Secret Garden as I been put off by the reviews I have seen but when when this Tour was announced I jumped at the chance. This retelling we see Mary transported from Silicon Valley to New York to start a new life and little did she know how this city could change her outlook. There is so much to love about this Graphic Novel we have main characters who are not only POC but an adult is LGBQT which is really great to see in a Middle Grade. But the main reason why I wanted to read this book was that the topics of grief and anxiety throughout and I was interested how Ivy Noelle Weir would write about such and found that she treated these with such tenderness that she made me sob not once but quite a few times. Now there is one more character of the book and that is New York itself. I loved the way Ivy interwove it throughout the story that it was actually living and breathing but put together with the illustrations of Amber Padilla which were breath taking. I now want to go to New York. For all these reasons I have no doubt in my mind that The Secret Garden on 81st Street should be awarded 4 stars.