Des Moines, IA
October 24, 2007
Dear Frances Hodgson Burnett,
When I am disappointed or sad, unhappy thoughts come rushing into my mind like a waterfall. Before I read your book, The Secret Garden, I did nothing to change my attitude when that happened. Because of your touching story and the lesson that it teaches, I will now always try to think about living each day in a more positive manner.
One day I ran to my room crying. My mom had scolded me for talking back to her. I just sat on my bed, sulking. I was getting bored of doing nothing so I picked up your book, The Secret Garden. By the second page I was struck by how much the characters were like me at that moment. I read page after page, hour after hour. Your story made me realize I was being just like Mary and Colin at the beginning of the book, sad and blue but doing nothing about it. I understood that my attitude should be more like Dickon's. So at that moment I was inspired to jump off my bed and go outside on that beautiful fall day.
When I finished your book the next day, I somehow knew I would always look more on the positive side of life. As I think about it, there are many ways that I could remain positive in my every day life. If I lose a game, I could congratulate the other team. When my sister gets better grades, I will think of how I could get an A in math next grading period. If my friend gets invited to the big party and I don't, I could make my own fun that night. You have taught me that you can choose to be happy, and I believe this is and always will be a very important lesson for life.