'The mystery element kept me turning the pages but it was the superb characterisation that made the story stay with me. It taught me that it's never too late to remake yourself into someone better' Malorie Blackman'She put her hand in her pocket, drew out the key, and found it fitted the keyhole . . . she held back the swinging curtain of ivy and pushed back the door which opened slowly. Then she slipped through it, looking about her and breathing quite fast with excitement and wonder and delight. She was standing inside the secret garden'Everybody at Misselthwaite Manor agrees that Mary Lennox is the most disagreeable child they have ever met. Pale, selfish and spoilt, the ten-year-old orphan has been sent from India to her uncle's estate and she is determined to hate everything about it. But the isolated house on the Yorkshire moors holds secrets that Mary cannot resist exploring: pitiful crying that echoes down the corridors at night and a hidden walled garden. When a robin leads Mary to the buried key, not only is the garden unlocked, but also her heart. And as the garden blooms, for the first time in her life, Mary discovers friendship. This is where the magic begins...'There is an old-fashioned tenderness and joy to it; the sense that magic happens if you are observant and quiet and know it will' Sophie DahlA collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.