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Tom's Midnight Garden Paperback – 3 Jan 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; First as Such edition (3 Jan. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192792423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192792426
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,442 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.

Product Description

Review

'This is a rare, moving story, beautifully written, and true in every way that matters.' (The Guardian)

'A timeless favourite' (Good Housekeeping)

'...haunting and lyrical children's story.' (The Daily Telegraph)

'...a story that came to be loved by children, parents and teachers everywhere.' (The Times)

'Masterpiece of English children's literature.' (The Independent)

Book Description

A timeless classic about Tom's adventures in his secret, midnight garden.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 84 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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16 of 17 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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24 of 27 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs K Pays on 8 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
What an amazing book. I remember loving it as a child and so bought it to read to my 8 year old son at bedtime. We couldn't put it down and loved every minute of the exciting and beautifully written story. It will live in my memory as a wonderful shared experience with my son, especially moments where we snuck off to read extra chapters in the day! We both cried towards the end and I would list it in my top ten books, beating many of my favourite adult books. I can't recommend it enough to read to a child and loved the simplicity of the time described, when a boy is desperate to play in a garden, particulrly as our lives are so filled with computer and television screens today.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on 1 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
I am 10 and my Mum bought me this book.
It is very interesting, and each page makes me want to read more. I read a chapter every night before I sleep. When I lie down then I imagine myself exploring the Midnight Garden. I think other kids would like this book too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dansmam on 11 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to analyse as part of a University degree course and I must admit I was quite excited to see it on the set books list as I enjoyed watching the series on TV when I was young. The book is about a young boy who goes to stay with his Aunt and Uncle but when he hears the Grandfather clock striking midnight he sneaks downstairs and is able to enter a magic garden. The story focuses on Tom's adventures in the garden and the people he meets. I enjoyed reading this book as an adult all be it for acaedemic reasons but I would advise parents to buy this book for confident readers between the ages of 8-10yrs. It's suitable for both boys and girls.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nina-Jo Rees on 20 July 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a enduring classic story for children, written and set in the 50s. It is about time, memory and friendship.
Tom, lonely and isolated as he is in quarantine for a childhood illness, finds his way back in time, at night (when the hall clock strikes 13), to a wonderful old Victorian house and garden and a little girl called Hattie, who, to his curiosity, is dressed in old fashioned clothes. The two lonely children become friends and I don't want to give away the beautifully devoloped plot, but Tom slowly realises that Hattie is growing up, while he remains the same age.
The atmosphere of the story is both mysterious and engaging, as Tom slowly works out where he is and who Hattie really is. There are adventures in the garden and dangers too as the two children get to know each other during Tom's night-time visits.

The story works of several levels and reading as an adult is quite a different experience to that as a child. Reading again recently I saw the theme of the 'garden' as a play of the age-old theme of paradise and innocence lost and I understood the references to the angel and 'time no more' as exploring concepts both biblical and scientific.
The end of the story acknowledges both the biblical idea of time coming to an end, as well as the modern notion of time's relativity and not existing at all. The recognition that Tom and Hattie can/could be friends across time and for always comes at the end of the story. The final and very moving lines in the novel make this clear as Tom, the small boy hugs his old playmate, now 82, ' as if she were a little girl'.
This is moving because it is so easy to forget that we were all young once, like Tom and will all be old too one day, like Hattie. It can teach children that old people are not a different race but just like them, once ran and played and got into trouble. I suggest this beautiful story can be enjoyed by anyone from 10 years old to 100.
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