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The Midnight Folk Paperback – 28 Jun 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont; Reprint edition (28 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405210125
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405210126
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

John Masefield Jonathan Edward Masefield (1878–1967) was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate from 1930 until his death. He is remembered as the author of the classic children's novels The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights, two novels Captain Margaret and Multitude and Solitude and a great deal of memorable poetry, including "The Everlasting Mercy", and "Sea-Fever", from his anthology Saltwater Ballads. Quentin Blake's first drawings were published in Punch when he was 16. He is known for his collaboration with writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, and, most famously, Roald Dahl. He has also created much-loved characters of his own. Quentin Blake’s books have won numerous prizes and awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. He won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration and in 2004 he was awarded the 'Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres'. Now in his 70s he is recognised as 'a national institution'. In 1999 he was appointed the first ever Children's Laureate.


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By Pyewacket TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this when I was about 6 and have loved it ever since. The story is about a little boy called Kay Harker who lives at Seekings, a rambling old house somewhere in the country. As he has no parents he has a guardian and also a governess Miss Sylvia Daisy who is a tartar. However, things are not what they seem in Seekings particularly when cats speak, little doors open in the wainscotting, characters from old pictures come to life and take you into them and maybe worst of all, you find out that there is Witchcraft going on under your nose in your own house!

The Pouncer Seven are after treasure lost many, many years ago and will stop at nothing to recover it including using dark magic. Kay and his friends have to stop The Pouncer Seven from finding the treasure and then return it to its rightful owner.

This is a truly delightful book written by the then Poet Laureate of the time, John Masefield. It is not scary in the actual sense of the word more of an adventure that many a little boy or girl would love to have been involved in,
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By Martin Turner HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
The Midnight Folk is a magical tale childhood, adventure and loyalty. It is filled with dark woods and shimmering seas, with smugglers, treasure and evil witches.
Kay Harker lives with his governess in Seekings, a large house which belonged to his dead parents. He discovers that all is not well in the house and its strange community of talking animals and magical helpers. But it is not until he learns that the governess herself is a leader in a sinister coven of witches and wizards that he begins to realise the danger to his friends and to himself. He is catapulted into a series of nighttime adventures searching for the treasure that his grandfather lost.
This book, which is also a perfectly observed picture of childhood - alone without loneliness - is the predecessor of the more widely known Box of Delights.
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Format: Paperback
For anyone who's used to modern, dare I say it, formulaic writing for children with tightly paced plots, snappy dialogue and no whiff of being overwritten, "The Midnight Folk" will come as a shock. The story rambles along with no chapter breaks. The huge cast of characters includes humans, magical beings, characters from mythology, animals and toys that may be human or animal. Many of the characters go under several names and three characters share a single name! The past, present, day and night, waking and dreaming mingle with each other. Many characters break into song, seemingly, just for the sake of it.

And yet, this cornucopia still casts its spell. There are some truly beautiful passages of writing and some funny ones, too. My nine-year-old, who I read it to (I think he'd have given up on his own) seemed less bothered than I if we lost the plot or forgot if a certain character was a (human) smuggler or a toy horse. Like an illogical but vivid dream, "The Midnight Folk" is a story where you have to relinquish control and let yourself be carried away on its magic.
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John Masefield (1878-1967) who is probably better known as a poet, wrote the Classic Children's books The Midnight Folk and Box of Delights.

I bought it purely because I got the dvd Box of Delights to watch over Christmas and one of the reviewers recommended reading the books beforehand.

I'm so glad that I did! They are beautifully written. As mentioned in another review, The Midnight Folk doesn't have chapters. I thought this would bother me, but it didn't and it does have paragraph breaks anyway. The beauty of this book for me was not the plot so much as the journey. It captures childhood and the magical world of invention that kids can escape into. John Masefield had quite a tragic childhood; his mother died giving birth to his sister when John was aged six, then his father had a mental breakdown and died soon after. It makes sense that he escaped into a world of his own, developed a love of reading and then created these magical books and many poems.

I enjoyed it so much I read the book Box of Delights, but that is another story ....
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was very familiar with the BBC TV adaptation of the Box of Delights, but Kay's welcoming of the Mouse always puzzled me- why did he greet him like an old friend, when they'd only just met? I decided to read the precursor, The Midnight Folk, to find out. I was really surprised by the book- it's a really good read, even for a grown up, and quite long- there's a good amount of story here. Kay has adventure after adventure, and welcomes all his new friends as if he's known them all his life (there were mice in it, but I don't think it was the same one from the Box of Delights). There are sneaky cats, witches, foxes, otters, owls, buried treasure, or possibly sunken treasure, or maybe it's lost altogether? Pirates, rats, and of course, Abner Brown. Definitely recommended, and I wish I'd read it years ago.
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This is a delightful book of which I was enthralled when I read it as a child, and was still engrossed when I read it as a rather more senior person just recently. John Masefield's writing captures the imagination of the reader and is neither childish nor too adult. I would recommend you buy this whatever age your are, and buy it as a present for your children.
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