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“A contemporary, multicultural rendition of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel, The Secret Garden. . . .Riazi flavors her rendition with heavy doses of cultural references, nostalgic trappings of the people and practices that Maria left behind and then learns anew in the Bangladeshi diaspora on Long Island. . . . A nice difference from The Secret Garden is the presence of a larger sense of community and adults who are held accountable for their actions. Mary had Colin and Ben (and the robin), but Maria gains quite a gaggle of friends and family.”
— Booklist

A Bit of Earth

Written by Karuna Riazi
Published by HarperCollins Publishers

Growing up in Pakistan, Maria Latif has been bounced between reluctant relatives for as long as she can remember—first because of her parents’ constant travel, and then because of their deaths. Maria has always been a difficult child, and it never takes long for her guardians to tire of her. So when old friends of her parents offer to “give her a better life” in the United States, Maria is shipped to a host family across the world.

When Maria arrives on Long Island, things are not quite what she was expecting. Mr. Clayborne has left on an extended business trip, Mrs. Clayborne seems emotionally fraught, and inexplicable things keep happening in the Claybornes’ sprawling house. And then Maria finds a locked gate to an off-limits garden. Since she’s never been good at following rules, Maria decides to investigate and discovers something she never thought she’d find: a place where she feels at home.

With a prickly main character, a sullen boy, two friendly allies, and a locked garden, A Bit of Earth has everything a reader could want from a retelling of The Secret Garden. Karuna Riazi’s evocative prose is interspersed with poetic verses, illuminating each character’s search for a place they can truly call home. This tender yet incisive reimagining of a classic work will captivate fans of the original—and widen the appeal for a modern audience.

Primary ISBN: 9780063098664
Publication Date: March 2023
Available As: Hardcover, Audiobook, eBook
Middle Grade , Age 08 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , , , , , , , , ,

Setting: United States

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: Immigrant

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

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