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Mandy, the first children’s novel ever written by the beloved star of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews, is a modern classic.

Mandy, a ten-year-old orphan, dreams of a place to call her own. Escaping over the orphanage wall to explore the outside world, Mandy discovers a tiny deserted cottage in the woods. All through the spring, summer, and fall, Mandy works to make it truly hers. Sometimes she "borrows" things she needs from the orphanage. Sometimes, to guard her secret, she even lies. Then, one stormy night at the cottage, Mandy gets sick, and no one knows how to find her—except a special friend she didn't know she had.

This is the perfect book for ten-year-old girls who love tiny houses and stories filled with hope.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061207075
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/15/2006
Series: Julie Andrews Collection Series
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 56,917
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.64(d)
Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Julie Andrews Edwards is one of the most recognized figures in the world of entertainment. She is perhaps best known for her performances in Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and The Princess Diaries. Ms. Edwards is the author of many favorite children's books, including Mandy, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, and the Little Bo series. She and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, an arts educator and theater professional, have coauthored over twenty books for young readers, including Simeon's Gift, The Great American Mousical, Thanks to You: Wisdom from Mother & Child, and the recent New York Times bestsellers The Very Fairy Princess and Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. Emma is also the author of Raising Bookworms.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

On the outskirts of a pretty country village called St. Martin's Green, there stands a large, white house called St. Martin's Orphanage. It has been there for many years. An imposing residence, the house has obviously known better days. It has generous, tall windows and large, high-ceilinged rooms. A black wrought-iron rail ing runs around the front and two sides of the property and the fourth side has a high stone wall to mark the boundary. The grounds, although not extensive, provide enough room at the back for a substantial play area for the children, a kitchen garden, and a modest orchard close to the high stone wall. The front garden is simply an expanse of green lawn and a drive extending from the gate at the road to the main entrance of the house.

The orphanage is managed by a board of trustees, but the principal figure, around which the institution revolves, is its matron, Mrs. Hannah Bridie. A graying, elderly woman, she is a widow .who has been in charge of St. Martin's ever since the death of her husband some twenty years ago.

In her care she has, on the average, thirty children. Apart from ensuring that they receive as good an education as possible, she oversees the laundry, the food, and the cleaning of the home. She maintains discipline and tries to observe and help each child in a personal way. Her day begins at the first light of dawn, and she is never finished until late in the evening.

Most people would buckle under the strain of so much hard work, but this plain, good-natured woman seems unflagging in her energies, and although the home is constantly understaffed and she is underpaid, it is thanks to her devotionthat the orphanage has a higher reputation than most other institutions of its kind.

Mandy had been there for as long as she could. remember. She was a bright ten-year-old, with dark hair that fell boyishly straight and short, around her sweet face. Since she had no known relatives, the orphanage was her home, her whole world.

She had many friends and she was much loved. Because she had been at St. Martin's most of her young life, the staff favored her somewhat, and she was given certain privileges and more freedom than the other children. She could be trusted and relied upon. Apart from schooling and a few special duties, Mandy had plenty of time to herself.

Basically, she preferred to be alone. She was inventive and quick-witted, but, above all, she was a dreamer. Most of the time she lived in a make-believe world of her own. She loved to read. She exchanged books at the local library at least once a week. The wonders of Robinson Crusoe and Alice in Wonderland and Gulliver's Travels were very real to her and offered far more excitement than the reality of her life could ever provide.

On Saturday mornings she helped out at the local grocery store. She was given a small sum of money for her work, and she used it as she pleased. Most of her money was spent on her precious books and sometimes on paints, crayons, and paper for painting and drawing.

Only the younger children at the orphanage attended school on the premises. Mandy, with the other older children, was sent out each day to attend the local school, which was on the other side of the village green.

Sometimes, after her classes were finished for the day, she wandered slowly home enjoying the pleasures of the soft countryside around her. She loved the outdoors and everything to do with nature. More often than not, having first obtained permission from the staff, she would go for a walk by herself.

She was rarely lonely at such times. The trees and flowers were very special to her and she knew the names of most of them by heart.

Living in her own dream world, as she did, it was never long before she had invented some situation to match her mood, and she was able to occupy herself for hours.

But it did not follow that Mandy was completely happy. How could she be? She had neither mother nor father and not even memories of them to sustain her.

She occasionally experienced very disturbing feelings. Sometimes she felt an ache inside that

would not go away. It seemed then as though her life were very empty.

She would cry for no reason at all, seemingly, and it frightened her when she did. She tried to be brave and put away her feelings.

"I'm having one of my attacks again," she would think, trying hard not to let people see her tears.

Her attempts to keep busy were mostly an effort to fill her life so that she had no time to feel disconsolate. But the nagging sadness was persistent, and it would envelop her when she least expected it.

As Mandy grew, her longings grew stronger and sometimes she felt as though she must surely break apart with so much going on inside her. It was as though she were searching for something, though what or where it was she could not say.

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