This book has consistently been my favorite book for several years running. The story is very well written, and unlike some old classics it is not mind numbing. My sole complaint would be when the author has the characters start to talk in York Dialect. It makes the book harder to read, although it does have a nice affect. Mary starts out as a stubborn and difficult child, but she blossoms into a wonderful friend. This book is the best!
I absolutely love "The Secret Garden". It is my all-time favorite book. The amount of personal growth that Mary and Colin both go through is amazing and wonderful. The positive influences that Dickon and Martha and their mother provide help bring stability to Mary's world which has been rocked by the death of her parents, moving thousands of miles from her home, and finding out that she's not the center of the universe.
As I child I always loved the thought of finding my own secret place to hide away from the world such as the garden that Mary found. Alas, I was not as fortunate, but I can still visit those places when I re-read this book. Even as an adult, I still re-read it at least once a year. I think I'm on my 4th copy of the copy I use for reading each time as I wore the others out! If possible, find one of the beautifully illustrated versions (you might have to go to a bookstore for that) to look at some of the gorgeous illustrations.