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Tom's Midnight Garden

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  16,384 Ratings  ·  470 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 October 30th 1992 by Greenwillow Books (first published 1958)
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Community Reviews

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K.D. Absolutely
May 23, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it
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
Apr 12, 2015 Zoë rated it really liked it
Book 32/100 of 2015
Sarah Sammis
Dec 05, 2008 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
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 it was amazing  ·  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
Mar 05, 2013 Amalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone.
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
Jul 12, 2015 Tej rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 22, 2016 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tom Long is a young boy who is sent to stay with his Aunt and Uncle for a Summer when his brother becomes ill. There isn't much for Tom to do, but one night when the big old Grandfather clock in the hall strikes Thirteen, Tom goes to investigate. He opens a door to shine some moonlight on the clock........and finds a wonderful garden where there should only be rubbish bins and concrete.

Written in 1958, this was a childhood favourite of mine. I never owned a copy, but I borrowed it from the libr
May 17, 2009 Justine rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 02, 2009 Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
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
Aug 10, 2015 Rosie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Eric Leonard
Jun 28, 2016 Eric Leonard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Oh my God! I have no words for this book! This is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read, I swear! The final scene is the most heartwarming scene in a book I've ever read. Yes, it is a book for children, but you should all read it. It is amazing!
*** 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 ...more
Oct 17, 2015 Huy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery-carnegie
Một cuốn sách đáng yêu, huyền bí và mê hoặc. Có đứa trẻ nào lại không thích những khu vườn, không thích du hành thời gian và đặc biệt ai lại không từng mơ ước được đi vào trong thế giới của những giấc mơ.
Jul 19, 2015 C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nicholas Whyte
Aug 06, 2011 Nicholas Whyte rated it it was amazing

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
Oct 12, 2011 Jane rated it it was amazing
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
May 09, 2015 Hil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 08, 2012 Ivan rated it really liked it
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?
Tristan Sherwin
Aug 25, 2016 Tristan Sherwin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's a reason why this book is a classic.

I haven't read this book since being at primary school in the nineteen-eighties, and even then, the book was read to me.

I'm now thirty-six, and I've enjoyed reading it as much as I did hearing it. The best children's books are the ones that you still want to read as an adult.

This is a beautiful story, one that is wonderful to escape into.

Highly recommended.

--Tristan Sherwin, author of *Love: Expressed*
Salt Publishing
Apr 14, 2014 Salt Publishing rated it it was amazing
A classic slipstream novel, utterly wonderful and with chapters that are unforgettable. A must for any child.
Oct 12, 2016 Kellie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very charming. A great part of my five stars go to this particular edition. It is an audiobook with a full cast. It is such a delightful one to listen to! I found it on Overdrive.
Ste J
Apr 29, 2014 Ste J rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
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
Nov 19, 2014 Nigie rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Mar 15, 2015 Elaine rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 21, 2015 Heidi rated it it was amazing
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
Josh Ang
Jul 22, 2016 Josh Ang rated it really liked it
I wish I had discovered this gem when I was a child. What a progressive time travel novel for its time! It was first published in 1958 and won the Carnegie Medal, which recognises outstanding children's books.

Tom Long is sent to stay with his doting aunt Gwen and her husband Alan Kitson when his brother Peter develops measles. It looks set to be a boring summer without the company of his brother and Best Friend and a nice big yard and garden to play in, because the Kitsons live in an old house t
Farhana Imran
Jul 05, 2013 Farhana Imran rated it it was amazing
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!
Apr 27, 2012 Gary rated it really liked it
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
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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...

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“Nothing stands still, except in our memory.” 34 likes
“A habit of solitude in early childhood is not easily broken. Indeed, it may prove lifelong.” 10 likes
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