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The Secret of Moonacre Resource - The Story


About the film

The Secret of Moonacre is an enchanting tale of magic and adventure. It follows the quest of thirteen-year-old orphan, Maria Merryweather (Dakota Blue Richards), who is sent away to live with her uncle, Sir Benjamin (Ioan Gruffudd), in the mysterious Moonacre Manor. It is there Maria uncovers the dark truth of the ancient curse that has nourished the feud that has been destroying Moonacre Valley for centuries. She has only until the next full moon to undo the curse and save Moonacre from destruction. Aided by a stable of wonderful characters and fantastical beasts, Maria sets out to bring peace to this magical world.


  • Highlight the words that suggest the film’s genre.
  • Which adjectives do you think are important in describing the mood of the film?
  • Highlight the challenges Maria will face in the film.
  • What kind of qualities will Maria need to have if she is going to succeed?

Choose a colour and click on any words you wish to highlight.

About the book

The Secret of Moonacre is an adaptation of The Little White Horse, written by Elizabeth Goudge and published in 1946. The book, currently published in 16 languages, appeals to consecutive generations of children and was the favourite childhood book of J.K. Rowling. The Little White Horse is a classic story that won the Carnegie Medal for children's literature in 1947. It continues to enjoy success today and was voted top book for 8–12 year olds by The Independent.


Research questions:

  • When was Elizabeth Goudge born?
  • How many years ago was The Little White Horse first published?
  • What other books have won the Carnegie Medal?  Have you read any of them?
  • What other books did Elizabeth Goudge write for children?
  • What is it about The Little White Horse that you think J.K. Rowling enjoyed?  Which aspects of the story might have inspired her writing?
Teachers Notes