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Tom's Midnight Garden

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  13,763 ratings  ·  368 reviews
Lying awake at night, Tom hears the old grandfather clock downstairs strike . . . eleven . . . twelve . . . thirteen . . . Thirteen! When Tom gets up to investigate, he discovers a magical garden. A garden that everyone told him doesn't exist. A garden that only he can enter . . .

A Carnegie-Medal-winning modern classic that's magically timeless.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 3rd 2008 by Oxford University Press (first published 1958)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K.D. Absolutely
May 23, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books
Shelves: 501, childrens
I was surprised finding myself that I really liked this book. This is my 98th book this year and just my 2nd children's fiction. If this were not one of the children's books in the 501 Must Read Books, I would not have picked this up.

Time Slip is used brilliantly in the plot that you don't know between the two main characters, Tom or Hatty, is the ghost and who is a real human being. To give you an example, in the movie Sixth Sense, you know right away who are the ghosts because the boy charact
Sarah Sammis
English manor homes seem to inspire a certain kind of time travel story. They are usually dream like and include a friendship across the ages. The only caveat, the protagonist from the present is usually unable to alter past events. Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce fits perfectly in this category and it's one of my favorite examples.

Tom Long, the present day (that being probably the 1950s) protagonist is sent away to his aunt and uncle's flat while his brother recovers at home from the
May 23, 2007 fin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of British children's fantasy
I read this book 10 years ago, and it still haunts me.

Tom is forced to stay with aunt and uncle for the holidays. He hates the "no-garden"-ness of their city flat, and a cranky old landlady who lives in the attic. One night, the old grandfather clock downstairs struck 13. Tom is led to open the back door, and he finds a blooming and live garden, which he learns later isn't there during the daytime.

In the garden world, time stood still for him. He befriends Hattie, a girl as lonely as he is. But
All this time I thought I had already added it to the shelf. This is a true children's classic. It is a beautiful, haunting evocative story of childhood, growing up, adulthood and old age. It's also unbearably sad, in a happy kind of way, if that makes sense. It's the story of life.

As a child and a teenager I used to have dreams about the Midnight garden, so did last night.

The story is about how two lonely children - a liitle boy named Tom and a little girl named Hattie - found each other's wo
4.5 STARS.

A truly magical story, entertaining for kids and adults alike. The beauty of this book is how you can allow your imagination to run away with you, just as Tom does. I will for sure pass this story (probably this exact book because THAT COVER THOUGH and it has cute illustrations) onto my kids as I think it's a great classic kids story.

I know this story well, I had the audio book on tape (yes tape, I am 21, kids) when I was a little girl but it was an abridged radio-play dramatization s
I remember avidly watching the Children's BBC adaptation of TOM'S MIDNIGHT GARDEN when I was around Tom's age myself - this would have been in 1990 or so. I absolutely loved the series, but to my chagrin I never read the book on which it was based - until now.

I'd always assumed that this was a modern book but on checking the details I found it was written in 1958 - this explains how Pearce has a natural way with words and how she recaptures the same magic of childhood as Enid Blyton did. In fact
It has been several years since I last read this beautifully enchanting and somewhat haunting time-slip tale about childhood, friendship, adolescence and the ocean swept passages of time.

This being not only my favourite time travel book but perhaps my favourite stand alone novel of all time, I thought its about time I wrote a little something about it. To be honest, I'm triggered to writing this in a hope of promoting its position in a poll for our next time travel book of the month group read.
Auntie J
*** Review available by request for those on my Friend list ***
When I think about this book, I get the same sort of feeling as Tom at the beginning of the story -- a little stifled, restless, too full of food. It's quite odd! Anyway, that somewhat colours my memories of this book, making it a bit less wondrous than perhaps it should be. It's a sweet story, ultimately, about mutual loneliness and need of companionship reaching right across time and bringing too lonely children together. It never gets too saccharine, though -- perhaps just slightly, at the en ...more
If I ever need to cry, I pick up this book (one of my favourites) and skim right to the end, to the line: "he put his arms right round her and hugged her good-bye as if she were a little girl." What a beautiful book this is - I was not a child when I read this but I want to read this to my children one day.
In 1989,the BBC did a TV adaptation of this book which my almost 11 year old self was enchanted by. My dad bought me the book, with the picture from the TV show on the front, but from that day to this I had never read more than a few pages. My love of time travel stories should really have prompted me to read it earlier. I have even seen 2 theatrical performances of it (but have never managed to find the BBC programme again online).

So my rating of this book may be tinged with nostalgia, but it
Oh! How do I express my gladness to have experienced this book? I can’t believe it’s from 1958. It could be a 1970s child, who feels his summer was forfeited by spending it with his apartment-dwelling Aunt. He loves his family’s yard and his Aunt only has trashcans on cement. With his brother ill, away he goes. His Aunt is keen to take him out but his Uncle is my least favourite type; debating whatever you utter. I love that Tom issues metaphysical challenges to him!

I hadn’t heard of Philippa Pe
I was not, as a rule, a huge fan of sad book when I was a child, but I remember both loving Tom's Midnight Garden and finding it heartbreaking. Sometimes I'm reluctant to reread something that gave me so much pleasure as a child, because I want to hold on to that initial experience. But the rereading was well worth it. It is a story about the power of memory, the relentless passage of time, and the fleeting but intense beauty of the world and childhood. One might think that these are not themes ...more
This is one of those novels that I'll remember and appreciate in time more than I do now. The story is a good one, and there are many memorable scenes. However, I found the writing rather tedious, sluggish; I kept wanting the pace of the narrative to pick up. The final forty pages are quite lovely, and the final encounter choked me up. Still, I don't know that I'd recommend this to a child - certainly not before "The Borrowers" or "The Children of Green Knowe."
Tom is certain he's in for a miserable summer when his younger brother catches the measles, and he is bundled off to his aunt and uncle's flat for quarantine. However, soon after arriving he discovers a mysterious garden which disappears every day, but reappears when the clock strikes thirteen. Will he ever discover the cause of the garden's mystery - and learn about the ghost girl he befriends there?
Salt Publishing
A classic slipstream novel, utterly wonderful and with chapters that are unforgettable. A must for any child.
Poor Tom, forced to go away during the summer holiday while his brother suffers the measles, and kept indoors under quarantine. How old-fashioned is that? Between Tom's unattractive sulking and insomnia, my general lack of interest in gardening, and a personal fear that this was going to turn into one of those stories about a guy finding the perfect mate by traveling back to a time before feminism, well, I didn't have high hopes. But it turned out to be a story about falling in love with a place ...more
Radwa Mousa
I do not have the slightest idea how the hell do such books end up being listed as children's books but i'm planning on finding out. I'd also love to discuss this with kids just to hear what they make out of it.

I don't know why exactly but this story will definitely linger with me for a while.

So, I did some research and found that this is what's typically called a chapter book (intended for kids between 7 to 11 years old!) and what really spiked my curiosity was that this bo
Ste J
Look at this particularly fantastic cover it just screams out ‘read me’, so I’m not sure why it took me so long to do just that. It wasn’t until I’d read the ending that I realised I had actually watched the wonderful BBC version in the 80′s, back when kids TV was made to be sinister and engrossing. I may have to do a post on that….

I have long been a firm believer that silence challenges the reader’s imagination and as ever I chose that medium in which to immerse myself in this wonderful book, a
An utterly resplendent story transcends whatever dated elements exist in this small, forgotten masterpiece for children in which love conquers time. Today its once-contemporary 1950s world is as lost to us as was then the Victorian era into which Tom, 10, submerges every night through a back door of his uncle and aunt's block of flats, where he's been exiled for the summer to avoid catching measles from his younger brother. Set against the traditional, even vital context of oblivious and uncompr ...more
Tom is forced to stay with aunt and uncle for the holidays. He hates the fact there is no garden (which I’m sure children can relate to) which he had to leave behind for the summer while his brother recovers.
I did find this novel to be an enchanting story about a boy who travels back in time when he should be in bed, again another part of the story which children can relate to and find exciting.

Tom finds a doorway to a magic garden to the past where he meets Hatty, a young girl. This is where th
I saw Tom's Midnight Garden as a film on TV a couple of years ago. Well...actually I only got to see half of it as I started watching it too late. I was totally charmed and knew I had to get the book of the same name by Philippa Pearce. I have not been disappointed. This is a wonderful story which ranks up there with classics like Wind in the Willows, The Secret Garden and others.

Tom is not happy as he has to go stay with Aunt Gwen and Uncle Alan in their apartment because his brother Peter has
Matt Linzey
I remember being read this book as a class while in Year 6. I recently came across it again while on my PGCE placement because one of the girls in my class is currently reading it. The story follows a young boy, Tom, who is sent to spend the Summer with his Aunt. Tom is less than enthusiastic about this and boredom sets in very early on his visit. Struggling to fall asleep one night, Tom is laying awake wishing he had something to do and some people his age to enjoy the holidays with. Still bore ...more
Farhana Imran
This book is about a nine year old boy called Tom and his adventures in a magical garden. As his brother Peter has measles and is quarantined, he is sent to stay with his aunt and uncle in a flat. Tom is very resentful at leaving his beloved brother and their garden. His desire to be in a garden is so strong that it becomes true. He climbs trees, run about, makes a tree house etc.

Tom cannot sleep as Aunt Gwen makes very rich food. He listens to the clock chiming, he counts 1,2,3,4,...,13 really!
Strangely, though it was published in 1958, I don't remember ever reading this as a child. I only read it now in preparation for the Open University's children's literature course, but I throughly enjoyed it. Though it's low key and not all that much happens -- Tom visits the beautiful garden that only appears after midnight and plays with the girl he meets there -- it had a strong narrative pull and I kept wanting to read on.

At the time the book was published, the present day story would have
This has become one of my favorite children's books, alongside Understood Betsy, A Little Princess, and The Chronicles of Narnia. The thing is, I love those other books because the main characters inspire me. I love Tom's Midnight Garden because the story enchants me. I don't think I've ever been drawn so into the wonderful "magic" of a story.

The story is set in England. A young boy has to go live in the city with his aunt and uncle because his brother has the measles. One night, he discovers a
Nicholas Whyte

I can't quite believe that I managed to reach the age of nearly 44 without having read this brilliant children's fantasy, though I had fond if vague memories of Dorothea Brooking's 1974 BBC adaptation. Tom, sent to stay with his aunt and uncle after his brother develops measles, discovers that when the clock in the hall strikes thirteen in the middle of the night he is able to visit the garden as it was in the past, and makes friends with Hattie who lives
A lot of times I read 'Hatty' as 'Harry', probably because of the latter's association with the name Tom who is the main character here. Or it might be that it is more likely for Tom to be friends with a boy rather than a girl. Well, this is just an odd observation I have. Odd as it is, it has nothing to do with how I liked and enjoyed this children's story, especially how it played out in the end.

I'd say that though it was to be expected, the revelation towards the end still caught me by surpr
This is one of the all-time great YA Fantasy classics. It uses the device of "time-slip"--the equivalent in Fantasy of "time-travel' in science fiction. Time-slip does not usually use a machine but works through a mysterious, often unexplained process which causes the consciousness of the character to slip into another time period. It is a plot device which tends to emphasize the ability to transcend time rather than travel through it.

"Tom's Midnight Garden" uses the device to explore the chang
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Philippa Pearce was one of the twentieth century’s greatest children’s writers. Her books include Tom’s Midnight Garden, winner of the Carnegie Medal; The Squirrel Wife, illustrated by Wayne Anderson; and A Finder’s Magic, created for her two grandsons and illustrated by their other grandmother, Helen Craig. Philippa Pearce died in 2006.
More about Philippa Pearce...
A Dog So Small Minnow on the Say The Way to Sattin Shore A Finder's Magic The Little Gentleman

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“Nothing stands still, except in our memory.” 23 likes
“A habit of solitude in early childhood is not easily broken. Indeed, it may prove lifelong.” 7 likes
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