Tilly's Moonlight Garden

Julia Green, illus. by Paul Howard. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $15.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-4022-7730-6
Green's lovely story about escaping into the imagination (and deciding when it's time to return) pays homage to classics like The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables. Eleven-year-old Tilly is separated from her best friend and everything she knows after her family moves into a beautiful old mansion in the English countryside. While her mother struggles through a difficult pregnancy and her writer father remains distant, Tilly spends most of her time alone, working on crafts and exploring the outdoors. At night, while carrying her stuffed fox, she follows a real fox through a gate and into a hidden garden, where she finds solace in a new friend that no one else can see. Tilly's uncertainties about her new school and fear of losing her mother are echoed through the enigmatic environment, rather than being overtly expressed in the narrative. Green (Hunter's Heart) masterfully fashions characters out of nature, the seasons, and the house, creating an atmosphere tinged with melancholy and a wisp of the supernatural, which is further accentuated by Howard's smoky b&w scenes. Ages 9–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 12/03/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4022-7731-3
Open Ebook - 209 pages - 978-1-4022-7732-0
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