Tilly’s Moonlight Garden by Julia Green | Review
By Julia Green
Age Range: 8 and up
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (October 2, 2012)
What to Expect: Moving to a new place, making new friends, family changes, wild animals, and mysterious happenings
When Tilly’s parents move to an inherited old mansion out in the country, Tilly is lonely and adrift: She had to leave her best friend in the city. As the new kid in school, it’s hard to break into the popular girls’ unfriendly clique. Tilly’s mother, an art student, has to rest a lot, due to complications in her pregnancy. Mom’s condition and the book Dad needs to finish keep Dad preoccupied.
One moonlit night, outside her window, Tilly sees a fox gazing up at her. It turns and disappears into scenery edging the back garden. By day, Tilly explores and finds a hidden garden. The fox returns, shy, but not unfriendly, always seeming to lead her into new discoveries. More visits at dusk or by moonlight lead Tilly to the an old house and a girl named Helen. The house is hard to find by day, but looks a bit like the doll’s house Tilly discovered in the attic. Helen appears at odd times. Her clothing and hair remind Tilly of an old photograph. When Tilly’s mother has to go to the hospital for special care, Granny comes to help out, and Tilly’s visits to the hidden garden take on a new dimension. All through this charming story, the writer sustains a sense of poetry and magic and mystery. One by one the story lines resolve plausibly. At the end, Tilly is ready to be a wise sister, a caring friend, and a nurturer of wild things.
“The garden seemed vast, a wilderness. They crossed through the wood, darker than ever, and out the other side to a lawn Tilly had never seen before, and a frozen pond with a statue of a girl, laced with frost.”
This book will appeal to girls 8 years old and up who enjoy mysteries, animals, and a hint of the ghostly, as well as those who have ever faced being “the new kid in school”.
Add this book to your collection: Tilly’s Moonlight Garden
Tilly’s Moonlight Garden was reviewed by Elizabeth Varadan.