Baltimore population falls, nearing a 100-year low, Census says

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mayo author makes new, familiar tale from 'Secret Garden'

Mayo author makes new, familiar tale from 'Secret Garden'

When she was growing up, Ellen Potter was an avid reader, and nothing thrilled her more than settling down with her well-worn copy of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic 1911 children's novel, "The Secret Garden."

The book's heroine, 10-year-old Mary Lennox, loses her parents to a cholera outbreak and must start her life anew at a remote manor in rural England. There she meets an array of often-spooky characters, happens on an abandoned garden and brings it back to life.

"At the start of that story, Mary's so sour and unlikable. That's so unusual, and it fascinated me," says Potter, a children's novelist whose three-book series about a feisty preteen named...