RadKid.Org: Reactive Attachment Disorder

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Reactive Attachment Disorder: Resources: Books for Older Kids



The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Tasha Tudor (Illustrator).
Soothing and mellifluous, native Briton Bailey's voice proves an excellent instrument for polishing up a new edition of Burnett's story. Bratty and spoiled Mary Lennox is orphaned when her parents fall victim to a cholera outbreak in India. As a result, Mary becomes the ward of an uncle in England she has never met. As she hesitantly tries to carve a new life for herself at imposing and secluded Misselthwaite Manor, Mary befriends a high-spirited boy named Dickon and investigates a secret garden on the Manor grounds. She also discovers a sickly young cousin, Colin, who has been shut away in a hidden Manor room. Together Mary and Dickon help Colin blossom, and in the process Mary finds her identity and melts the heart of her emotionally distant uncle. Bailey makes fluid transitions between the voices and accents of various characters, from terse Mrs. Medlock and surly groundskeeper Ben to chipper housemaid Martha. And most enjoyably, she gives Mary a believably childlike voice. A brief biography of the author is included in an introduction. Ages 6-12. 368 pages.



The Secret Garden (1987) DVD
Mary Lennox (Gennie James) is a spoiled young British girl orphaned by an Indian epidemic. She is sent to Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire to live with a distant relative, Archibald Craven (Derek Jacobi), and there she becomes obsessed with a secret, overgrown garden. With the help of a local boy, Dickon, the garden and everyone around them--including Craven and his frail son, Colin--come to life again. Filmed on location at scenic Highclere Castle in Newbury, this Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic won an Emmy for Outstanding Children's Program. Although it can't top the 1949 version with Margaret O'Brien (or Agnieszka Holland's 1993 version), younger viewers may prefer this more straightforward retelling, whereas adults are sure to appreciate the fine performances by Jacobi and Billie Whitelaw (Mrs. Medlock). Colin Firth (Bridget Jones's Diary) appears briefly as the adult Colin in this timeless, uplifting story for all ages. DVD



The Secret Garden (1993) DVD
Filmed before (and quite nicely) in 1949, and again in 1987, Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic children's story was remade for this admirable 1993 release, executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola and directed by acclaimed Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland. Splendidly adapted by Edward Scissorhands screenwriter Caroline Thompson, the film opens in India during the early 1900s, when young Mary Lennox (Kate Maberly) is orphaned and sent to England to live in Misselthwaite Manor, the gloomy estate of her brooding and melancholy uncle, Lord Craven (John Lynch). Because the uncle is almost always away on travels, struggling to forget the death of his beloved wife, Mary is left mostly alone to explore the estate. Eventually she befriends the young brother of a staff maid and Lord Craven's apparently crippled son, who has been needlessly bedridden for years. Together the three children restore a neglected garden on the estate grounds, and in doing so they set the stage for a moving reaffirmation of life and love. Filmed with graceful style and careful attention to the intelligence and cleverness of young children, The Secret Garden is that rarest breed of family film that transcends its own generic category, encouraging a sense of wonder and optimism to become a rewarding experience for viewers of any age. DVD



Back to The Secret Garden (2000) DVD
In this sequel to The Secret Garden, set in 1946, an American orphan named Lizzie (Camilla Belle) gets to live at Misselthwaite Manor in England courtesy of Mary Craven (Cherie Lunghi), who grew up there. It's now an orphanage and Martha Sowerby (Joan Plowright) has become headmistress. Although the garden is no longer secret, neither is it as lush as it became under Mary's care. Because Lizzie also has a green thumb, Miss Sowerby allows her to work on it during Sundays, but it's off limits to children the rest of the week. Lizzie just can't stay away, so she breaks the rules and gets in trouble. By the end, she has found a way--with Miss Sowerby's permission--to make the garden bloom again. Although this film lacks the suspense of The Secret Garden, it's faithful to the spirit of the original and is suitable for the whole family. DVD



The Secret Garden (2005) DVD
Sarah Hollis Andrews stars as Mary Lennox, a lonely and spoiled girl who is sent to live with her uncle in the wake of her parents' death. In his dark and foreboding manor, her life is transformed by unexpected friendships and a surprising, hidden fantasy world. Impeccably mounted, with a literate script and superb performances, this magnificent BBC production is among the most acclaimed adaptations of Frances Hodgson Burnett?s classic children?s novel that has captivated generations of readers. DVD



The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson.
Gilly Hopkins is a determined-to-be-unpleasant 11-year-old foster kid who the reader can't help but like by the end. Gilly has been in the foster system all her life, and she dreams of getting back to her (as she imagines) wonderful mother. (The mother makes these longings worse by writing the occasional letter.) Gilly is all the more determined to leave after she's placed in a new foster home with a "gross guardian and a freaky kid." But she soon learns about illusions--the hard way. This Newbery Honor Book manages to treat a somewhat grim, and definitely grown-up theme with love and humor, making it a terrific read for a young reader who's ready to learn that "happy" and "ending" don't always go together. (Ages 9 to 12) 160 pages.



List Your Self For Kids : Listmaking as a Fun Way to Get to Know Yourself, by Ilene Segalove and Charlotte Blumenfeld.
Fun questions for kids to answer about themselves, their families, and their interests. Age 9-12 and up. 128 pages.



Memory Maker, by Lara Shecter and Nardia Strydom.
The Memory Maker is a scrapbook that picks up where most baby books leave off. After spending years carefully documenting the milestones of early childhood, we tend to abandon the process just when our kids reach the age where they take an interest in their own development. By recording the same information from year to year, The Memory Maker lets kids keep track of the big changes that take place from Kindergarten to Grade 7 in a simple and concise way. It is designed to be used by both parents and children, and kids can get as creative as they like without being overwhelmed by masses of blank space. One of the unique features of The Memory Maker is that each grade has a specially designed pocket where parents can put all the irreplaceable papers, photographs and certificates that accumulate over the school year. You'll never have to rummage through another disorganized shoe box in search of a report card again! Kids will look forward to filling in the different section each year and they will love looking back over their entries as they grow and change. By creating a kind of retrospective, The Memory Maker helps kids gain perspective on their own lives. This book full of memories in the making is a must have for every school-aged child. Age 4-13. 46 pages.



Don?t Touch My Heart : Healing the Pain of an Unattached Child, by Lynda Gianforte Mansfield and Christopher H. Waldmann.
A realistic view of life with an unattachment disordered child, intended to be read with the child. A bit pricy. 121 pages.



The Foundling, by Linda K. Hayner
One cold morning in January, 1644, Willy - four years old - is abandoned on the porch of a parish church in London. The parish constable finds him, and Willy begins a journey that requires him to rely on his natural ingenuity and his early training in order to survive. My 12 year-old nephew really liked this book when I read it to him, and he?s reading it again himself at 13. It has a good attachment message, and teaches a little bit of history at the same time. 341 pages.

Note: When available, and when money is an object, please consider purchasing a used book rather than a new one. While I don't earn nearly as much of a commission on the sale of used books, the difference in cost to you is worth considering. With the money you've saved, go out and buy yourself something. -- ken


Last Modified on: Saturday, August 08, 2009



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