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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  701 ratings  ·  68 reviews
A time travel book. Or is it a haunting?

Minty believes she is a witch - not the type you would notice ordinarily - - she appears to be like anyone else but is quite used to seeing phantoms floating about the place, and thinks it is perfectly normal. Minty is very determined as well, which is just as important because when she goes to stay with her aunt in the village of B
Hardcover, 220 pages
Published October 12th 1987 by Faber Children's Books (first published January 1st 1987)
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  701 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Minty is suffering the loss of her father. She goes to stay with an Aunt for the summer as her mother works, but then further tragedy strikes. Minty explores Belton Hall, an actual National trust property where her Aunt works and soon discovers she can travel in time where she meets and kitchen boy with a nasty cough and a wealthy girl from the hall with a birth mark on her face who was experiencing some quite extreme bullying. This book was made into a drama years ago and I expect this worked r ...more
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
Most of the points I'm giving this book are from my childhood self - it was my favourite, and a book that really inspired my writing. It's so strange and atmospheric and mysterious.

Unfortunately upon re-reading, it's a bit *too* mysterious. Very few of the questions it sets up are answered, and some intriguing points that seem like a big deal are never again mentioned or explained. It feels more like someone telling an intriguing bedtime story that they're making up as they go along than like so
Claire Watson
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story follows the saga of Araminta (or Minty for short), who has discovered she has a strange talent for seeing ghosts. After her mother is involved in a car accident, Minty is sent to stay in the country with an elderly Aunt who lives on the grounds of an old stately home now open to the public. Whilst staying with her Aunt, Minty befriends a local groundskeeper called World who informs her that she must help the past residents of the home find peace as they are lost souls. Minty meets the ...more
Tim Rideout
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Light and Shadow by turns, but always Love.'

My first reading of this enchanting novel, in preparation for the 2017 Newark Book Festival and the panel discussion on Nottinghamshire's literary heroes.

Helen Cresswell is certainly one such hero. This is a novel reminiscent of Philippa Pearce's 'Tom's Midnight Garden', engaging with time slips and ghostly figures from the past and the future.

The authorial voice is fully aligned with the main protagonist, Minty Kane, affording the reader the clearest
Thar Lun Myat
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is kind of a horror story about a girl going back in time. Every night, she went to the garden where there is a moon dial and she went back in time to meet a boy from many years ago and a girl. I really enjoyed this book.
Jayne Catherine pinkett
This is February's children classic choice from Victoria from booktube channel Eves Alexandria.
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
This was a highly nostalgic re-read for me - all the time travel fantasies of my childhood came flooding back. After reading this story of ghosts, time slip and bravery for the first time I was surprisingly keen to go visit country houses. It's not every 8 year old that wants to go to Chatsworth for her birthday but I was determined to have an adventure like Minty's. Now as an adult I really appreciated how atmospheric and spooky the book was, and how Minty dealt with complex and frightening sce ...more
L.J. Diaz
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I owned this book in the 1990's & even watched the TV show. The story of Minty, Tom & Sarah is one of my all time favorites & has never left me. I decided to re-read this on a whim, and I still think it's brilliant some 25 years later! It's one of those stories that is timeless and filled with intricacies. Everyone should read this book, children & adults alike, you will not be disappointed.
Nang Michelle
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Its about a girl travelling through time to help a boy and a girl from the past. She uses the moondial to help her travel. I really like this type of book and its suits me well. Although i dont know the "type" of this book.
Lee Osborne
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Light and Shadow by turns, but always Love"

This was a favourite BBC drama of mine, a wonderfully atmospheric tale, and I have to confess Siri Neal in the lead role was a major attraction! It's stuck in my memory ever since, so I thought I'd read the book. I'm sure I've started it in the past, but never got around to finishing it.

Lead character Minty, a girl who recently lost her father, goes to spend the summer with an old aunt at Belton, a grand old country house. Her mother is involved in a c
P.J. Taylor
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice children's time travel novel with a great female protagonist. I particularly liked the character of Tom short for Teddy. I'm pleased to say that the BBC TV adaptation from the 80's is equally as good as the book.
Jun 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is one of my favourite stories - I loved the BBC adaptation when I was younger. So, it was impossible to resist when I saw this book in the local Library sale.

It is the story of Minty, packed off to her Aunt's during the Summer holidays. She feels that there is something wrong about the house and gardens where she spends her days. Then her mother is involved in a car accident and Minty discovers the Moondial - both events become entangled as she ends up travelling back through time, meeting
Nancy Ellis
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fantastic time travel story! I love stories like this and wish I had known about them all when I was younger. That definitely does not detract from their appeal, however! This story focuses on a young girl who travels in time to meet two other children, and together they work to overcome an evil power. My only complaint is the rather negative portrait of cats, but I still loved the book. The ending is poignant but perfect. I would highly recommend this not just to adults interested in si ...more
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Think I read this when I was much younger but I can't recall doing so. The blurb on here refers to the central character, Minty thinking of herself as a witch, absolute hogwash! This has nothing whatsoever to do with witches and witchcraft plays no part in the plot at all. Actually this comes over as a cross between 'Tom's Midnight Garden' and 'The Amazing Mr Blunden', both definite childhood favourites and, I have to say better than this. If you want a decent children's book about ghosts or tim ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this as an adult, thought it was a good story. Quite creepy in places. Probably would have scared me as a child haha. Reminded me of the TV series called "ghost hunter" I think it was called that was on in the early 90s.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been one of our recent bedtime stories, chosen by me, due to a memory of me watching this story on television,many moons ago. I thought this would be a perfect autumn/Halloween read as it's full of mystery,ghosts,time travel and a chillingly mean witch. So my son has been dragged along with me while I reminisced early childhood memories!

Araminta Kane lives with her mum Kate. Her Dad has just died and Kate needs someone to look after Minty during the long school holidays,so Min
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I first read this book almost thirty years ago when I was a wee dragonet and I remember really enjoying it. I also thoroughly enjoyed the TV series if I remember right. Recently, I managed to acquire an actual radio production of this story which is what I listened to and am now reviewing! It's just as good a storyline as I remember from my childhood and involves a modern-day girl called Minty short for Araminta travelling back in time to meet a Victorian era boy called Tom short for Edward and ...more
Moondial I saw as a kids tv show when it aired 30 years ago and loved it. I've watched it again as an adult and still love it. Time travel, spooky ghosts, who aren't really ghosts, and a beautiful setting. We went to Belton House where the novel is set, and the tv show as filmed, last week and I bought a copy of the book to finally read. There were a few sections of the novel that were different, and as usual I preferred the novel differences. Definitely one I'd recommend to young and old. It di ...more
Cristi Julsrud
Proof that sometimes revisiting your childhood isn't all it's cracked up to be. I remembered this book being a favorite that I read and reread many times as a child. As an adult, it left much to be desired. Too many unanswered questions and undeveloped story threads! The one important thing I realized from rereading this is that I am so grateful that today's readers have so much more to pick from than I did. My students have a wealth of literature that is both well-written and relevant to their ...more
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I ever read more than once. I really didn't realize how much I enjoyed science fiction as a child!

I'm giving this five stars because I remember loving the book in my youth. I haven't read it in ages, but I remember the events of the story well enough. The writing was probably juvenile, but I didn't mind when I was young.
Stacey Bookerworm
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely little children's book. I loved the tv series based on the book when I was younger and being able to visit Belton House and see the dial for myself as it was not far from our home. I didn't read the book until this year though and it was just as good as thought it would be.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I grew up playing at the real Belton house, so I wanted to revisit my childhood and read this book. Unfortunately almost all characters are severely under developed even for a kids book, meaning that the book has little real plot ending
Beccy Swanson
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Lovely self contained short fantasy story, engaging characters, heart warming but not saccharine sweet. I also really liked he inclusion of traditional nursery rhymes, a lot of which I'd forgotten I knew!
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply super !
around a 2.5 actually. The climax and ending was very short & overall uninteresting
lucy kimber
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The moon dial

I love this book because it is very extremely exciting . I l o c e i t to go
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror, mystery
Moondial by Helen Cresswell is a children’s book about ghosts, time travel and connections to the past.

I picked up this book in Waterstones earlier this year along with a beautiful hardback edition of The Spiderwick Chronicles, right after I’d been trying to get myself to stop buying books I hadn’t read yet that weren’t from a series/author I already liked, in case I end up hating them. I felt like I could let myself buy something else since I’d only found one other book for once, and I really l
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction, fantasy, 2017
This was a simple story that was too drawn out. The writing style tended to be cumbersome and at times confusing (making me wonder whether the targeted audience was appropriate). The idea was good, but it could have been executed better.
I don't remember if I was irritated as a child reading it, but reading it now I am in no rush to read it again (and I'd been *so* excited about re-reading it!). Too many un-answered questions


Who is World? How does he know stuff? Is Miss Raven really the same person as from the past? Where do the kids *go*? They clearly still stayed in their lives as there's a gravestone - how were their lives improved? Were they?

But, again, these questions probably didn't bother me as a child and
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