The Year of the Garden by Andrea Cheng

Anna Wang #0.5. HMH Books for Young Readers (April 2017) NetGalley
When Anna is gifted a copy of The Secret Garden, it inspires her to follow her dreams—maybe she can plant ivy and purple crocuses and the birds will come.  Or maybe what grows from her dream of a garden is even better: friendship. And friendship, like a garden, often has a mind of its own.       

In this prequel to Year of the Book, join Anna in a year of discovery, new beginnings, friendships, and growth. 

Years ago my dad brought me a DVD of The Secret Garden. I had no interest in it. I hadn't even heard of The Secret Garden before. But, like the good daughter I am, I indulged his buy and watched the movie. I became enchanted with the secret garden, Mary, Colin, and Dickon. Their story brought out the nature lover in me. It showed how nature can transform your day, but in Mary's case your life, into a happy one. I jumped at a chance to read The Year of the Garden since I love The Secret Garden and have read and enjoyed a few of the Anna Wang series.

This is a prequel of Anna's other stories where she grows her friendship with Laura. Anna loves digging up dirt and gardening but Laura doesn't feel the same way. She constantly asks to have the seeds they are trying to grow so she can get her family member to grow it on their farm instead of growing them themselves. It's really the strangest and most annoying thing ever. Why doesn't she come out and say she rather not be growing plants? Or why doesn't Laura just garden with her for a little while and then later on or the day after they can do something she likes to do? Where is the communication??? I know they are little kids but Laura just frustrated me so much. I think she just blatantly lied in there to get out of gardening too. It's just gardening. Why are you so weird about being outside? It's healthy for you. I know Laura is just young and has a lot to learn. The story is based around this friendship and what it means to be a friend. How you need to communicate your feelings and your friends might not like everything you like to do which is true to life.

I liked the basis of the story but there wasn't anything that wowed me. I prefer Anna's other stories where there is a bit more of a plot to them. The only thing that I liked or was impressed about was that Anna could read The Secret Garden at eight years old. Overall, The Year of the Garden was an okay read.

Thanks to HMH Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for providing me with The Year of the Garden in exchange for an honest review!


  1. The cover reminds me of Ivy and Bean. I haven't heard of this one- but I agree with you that reading and digesting The Secret Garden at age 8 is impressive! Thanks for sharing your review. :)


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