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The Shadow in the Garden

(The Spirithaven Adventures #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Luna couldn't stand it anymore, so she escaped Grandfather's house and sought refuge in the backyard. And that's where she discovered the mysterious hedge-fence gate...

Step with Luna into Spirithaven, a place between places where vibrant emotions become colorful traveling companions, memories are carefully sculpted--and fears grow into daring realities. There, a dreadful
Kindle Edition, 42 pages
Published January 1st 2012
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  77 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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K.P. Ambroziak
When done well, children's literature is on a par with some of the finest. I was intrigued by Braden McElroy's story and thought it would be a fun read. I was surprised to find it was so much more...

From the opening I was taken in with its elegant prose. Simple and clean, McElroy's style is sophisticated and yet flows with appealing ease. The story itself is touching, creative and, at times, humorous. As I read it I wondered what age it was written for, as it felt perfectly appropriate for an ad
Dennese Fulmer-link
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good children's read

Was a good read for children. Fast moving and a tad of education. Sad and happy. I recommend it, quick read.
D.M. Dutcher
May 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting novella with a shade of George Macdonald, but needs to be longer and with more a plot.

Luna is a young girl playing in her back yard with her dog, Tiffy. One day she sees a passage through the hedges maked To the Other Side, and she, Tiffy, and her Grandfather wind up in Spirithaven, a world with a kindly Gardener and a malicious Gnome. What will happen to her?

There's definitely a George Macdonald vibe here. It reminded me especially of Lilith. Very restrained and very metaphysical. U
Jessica Bronder
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Luna is having a bad day and escapes to her Grandfathers garden with her stuffed dog Tiffy. While there, she finds and a picket fence opening in the hedge-fence and a creepy gnome. Her Grandfather appears and decides that he would like to accompany her on this adventure. Luna and her Grandfather find themselves in Spirithaven. There they meet Mr. Gardener whom helps them find Tiffy when he gets lost in the hedge-fence. He also helps guide them on their way to the Emotive Arbiter.

There Luna and G
Braden McElroy has a wonderful gift of storytelling. His writing style reminds me a bit of C.S. Lewis, L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll and George MacDonald all wrapped up in one - but still with a flair of his own uniqueness, which creates a captivating and enchanting tale. His story is heart-touching and has a wonderful lesson about loss and grief. The main character, Luna is a child who has suffered a loss and is a totally endearing character. She is a very dimensional and someone that every chil ...more
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-books-read
Although it is written for a young reader, I found it helped me also to deal with my feelings of loss. It helped me put some of my feeling into a different perspective. It takes the reader through the different stages of grief after the loss of a loved one in a very imaginative and well written way. You get the chance to explore your own feelings as you read the different chapters and hopefully deal with the feelings also. A young reader would have no trouble understanding what was happening and ...more
Marilou Johnson
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: free-books
Great allegorical story of life and death told from the perspective of a little girl. I feel like I need to discuss and maybe write a paper on this story . . . there is a deeper meaning here and I think I will read it again to pick up on things I may have missed the 1st time around.

'Sanctuary Park is one of the entrances. The rest of Spirithaven begins at the gate on the other side of the courtyard. From there, you can take several paths, but they all lead to Memory Lane. Some are just harder to
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Shadow Garden is an amazing 48 page experience. Children might enjoy it as an adventure. Older readers might consider the trip into Spirithaven as an internal journey toward healing. Many live as though they are existing under a gray cloudless sky when depressed or grieving over events of which they have no control. Luna, her stuffed dog Tiffy, and a very colorful caste of characters including a gardener, a carpenter, and a sculptor allow a young girl to understand why we sometimes need thos ...more
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: z2015
I picked up this short story for free on Amazon and I am so glad I got the chance to read it. The story is very reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The allegory for grief is such a refreshing take that I instantly fell in love. This will be an author I will be looking up and I expect I will read all the stories in this series in the future.

A wonderful tale that might just leave you crying in the end.
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read the book in one sitting - 3hours flat :) This is a story that both adults and kids will enjoy though the focal audience is the young adult. Very creative with analogies that everyone can relate to.

Luna's journey into the mystery land, her tryst with emotions, the struggle between love and loss... if winter comes, can spring be far behind? A journey of sorrow always leads to joy... All the characters in the book - Mr Gardner, Mr. Carpenter, Grandfather... - convey a strong message, they a
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that startle you with how good they are. A real find. Sensitive, simple storytelling and a masterful handling of issues like grief and injustice. The author is that rare type who can make you cry over a seemingly small incident--like the part where the porcelain doll gets hurt by the other dolls and is healed by the gardener. He reminds me of Rumer Godden and Hans Christian Anderson. Religious undertones are subtle and not overdone.
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review. Although it is written for a young reader, this book is a great story about death (never an easy topic). One reader said it all when they wrote that this story "has the feel of an Alice in Wonderland or Never Ending Story adventure at the same time ... has a more spiritual undertone." A few editing errors, but nothing major. Great job Braden McElroy!
Carla J.
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing

This allegory is one of the sweetest stories that will help you get through a time of sorrow. Follow Luna's journey through Spirithaven as shell falls into the Deep Depression and climbs her way out to Memory Lane and has many adventures along the way. Reminiscent of C. S. Lewis's Narnia, this tale will help you find a certain peace.
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm going to start this review the same way as my others. I am not a book critic but I know what I like and what I don't. I liked this story. It is a short story, only 42 pages long. When I started it it reminded me a lot of Alice in Wonderland or Narnia. The little girl travels to another place to help her understand what is going on. It had me in tears by the end of the story.
Derek Jordan
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Pretty good... It was much like Pilgrim's progress.. but much shorter and as well much simpler.

It has much to do with emotions and the way that we deal with them.. as well as the spark of the divine that can enter our lives at times.
Connie Pederson
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Very well written! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the depth at which it takes you soul along the journey.
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Aug 07, 2013 rated it liked it
A very nice little story.
Felicia Kendall
Sep 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was very sweet. The story was a little predictable, but should be fine for children. I particularly liked the descriptions and handling of depression for young readers
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very good

This is a very good children's fantasy, that has well rounded characters. The plot is easy to follow so younger readers will enjoy this book.
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Aug 07, 2017
Kristin Scearce
rated it it was amazing
Dec 23, 2013
P.b. Kelley153
rated it liked it
Feb 09, 2015
rated it it was ok
Jul 25, 2012
rated it liked it
Dec 05, 2015
Melissa Stone
rated it liked it
Apr 18, 2014
rated it liked it
Feb 18, 2014
Mary Russel
rated it it was amazing
Apr 03, 2015
Caroline Laudig
rated it did not like it
Sep 02, 2015
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When Braden McElroy is not writing fantasy for children, he is usually preoccupied with the adult equivalent - developing financial forecasts for his employer in Houston, Texas. Proof resides somewhere in his attic that he earned degrees in agribusiness and Russian language and literature from Oklahoma State University, as well as an MBA from Yale University. In his spare time, he continues to hel ...more

Other books in the series

The Spirithaven Adventures (2 books)
  • The Jackal and the Giant (The Spirithaven Adventures #2)