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Tom's Midnight Garden (Oxford Children's Modern Classics) Paperback – 21 May 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; New edition edition (21 May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192717774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192717771
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 786,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philippa Pearce spent her childhood in Cambridgeshire and was the youngest of four children of a flour-miller. The village, the river, and the countryside in which she lived appear more or less plainly in Minnow on the Say and Tom's Midnight Garden.

She later went on to study English and History at Cambridge University. She worked for the BBC as a scriptwriter and producer, and then in publishing as an editor. She wrote many books including the Modern Classic, Tom's Midnight Garden, for which she won the Carnegie Medal. She was also awarded an OBE for services to Children's Literature.

Sadly, Philippa died in 2006, at the age of 86.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 97 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Dec 2001
Format: Paperback
All children should be given the chance to read this book. It was the favourite story of my childhood. It is a beautiful, haunting evocative story of childhood, growing up, adulthood and old age. It's also sad, in a happy kind of way, if that makes sense. It's a story of life. It's beautifully written, and a haunting evocation of a place, a garden, long ago - so powerfully drawn you feel you know every area of it - the nut stubbs, the greenhouse, the meadow, the sundial wall and the stream and so forth, that it comes alive in your mind - the old fir tree, that Hatty used to like to stand under in a high wind, and feel the roots "pulling like muscles" under her feet - so wonderfully drawn you'll not want to leave it's world. It's a part of my life, forever.
This is a true classic for all time. Buy it today.
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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Kate Aked on 22 Jan 2008
Format: Paperback
A beautiful and tradtional story of magic, freindship & growing up. Adored by my children, loved by me.
Every school shelf should be stocked with this classic and every home shelf too.
When the trend for books is to 'gross out' young readers, this story reminds us that there is and always will be space for beautifully written well told enchanting stories.
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133 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Laura on 3 Jan 2006
Format: Paperback
Tom is sent away to his aunt and uncles flat for the summer holidays. The flat has no other children living there or any garden. Tom is angry and alone there, what his uncle calls Tom's ten hours sleep,Tom spends awake in bed, until he hears the grandfather clock striking thirteen.The hour thirteen brings an escape to a magical garden with trees, a river,bushes, a sundial and a large lawn. Tom's meets people there and makes a friend called Hatty there do lots of thigs there. But there is a disagreement between which of them is a ghost? I love this book I think it's very hard to put down and extremely magical. It is probably my favourite classic book, as nearly all your questions get answered. Best suited for children age 8 and over....you just have to read this!!
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Ann Fairweather TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Mar 2007
Format: Paperback
I read Tom's midnight garden first as a child, then much later as an adult. The delight and magic (and tears !) were exactly the same. This is a marvellous, touching story that just stays with you for ever. It is one of these very rare books that functions on several levels. First of course we share Tom's adventures nights after nights in the magic garden, but then after the heartbreaking, beautiful ending you know that the story reaches depths in your heart that few can. A powerful reflection on the past, its mysteries, how it vanishes and reappears...on time and aging... and so much more...Definitely not just for children !
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Jones on 23 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback
First published in 1958 this is the consummate time travelling book, paving the way for the likes of Dr Who first seen just a few years later and all that followed right up to the recent 'The Time Travellers Wife' which is inadvertently a grown up take on Philippa Pearce's classic. Tom's travel back in time from present day Britain (although actually the 50's it's not identifiable as such) to a Victorian Britain is also a delightful introduction to bygone eras and period literature. Essentially the story is a collection of adventures had by an ordinary young boy sent to a relative while overcoming illness and an orphaned Victorian girl Hatty in the garden of her relatives extensive Victorian country estate. While Tom believes he visits every night, For Hatty the visits can be weeks, months or even years apart. When we first meet Hatty she is very young, a good couple of years younger than Tom and with each visit we see she is getting a little older.

There is a reason this book is still in print and it's because this book is the best children's book ever written. The fun adventures of the two protagonists provide timeless amusement, the mystery behind how or why Tom seems to travel through time provides suspenseful intrigue and the overarching story of Tom and Hatty's developing friendship and how it helps them cope with their respective difficult childhoods is moving beyond belief. Don't for one second think this is a girls book, boys too will love this story, Tom travels in time and gets up to all sorts of mischief -what's not to love? It is a book that's text heavy with only a few black&white illustrations so best for a confident reader aged 7+ but it works beautifully as a read-aloud story with perhaps a chapter a night before bed so no child need miss-out on this beautiful tale.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Beanson on 7 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't read this book as a youngster but remembered seeing the 70s tv version. I didn't really know what to expect, but as I enjoy reading classic children's literature I thought I'd get it.

It really is an incredible book and throughly deserves all the accolades that have been heaped upon it. I found the quality of the writing to be taut and extremely controlled, the author knows exactly how to conjure scenes for full impact. One of the best things about this book are the numerous small vignettes and mini adventures in the garden: the bow and arrows; the bible; the geese; the named trees- one really lives the experiences with Tom and Hatty.
The standout moments are at the end of the book. The moonlit ice skating as they journey back on the frozen fen river was so haunting and vivid, the scene will stay with me; the shadowy meeting with Barty and then forwards to the incredibly moving moment when Tom realisies he has been denied the Garden and his wild calling out to the indiferent Hatty. And then, of course the ultimate meeting.

This is just about as good as a story book gets, if the ending doesn't move you somewhere deep inside then I can't imagine what would.

Read this book, you deserve it
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