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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 25 May 1999
The once Poet Laureate John Masefield wrote two wonderful children's books - The Box of Delights and this one, The Midnight Folk. It's the story of the English countryside in summer that abounds with an anarchic mix of talking cats, seven league boots, pirates, evil Americans. What more could you want? It casts a spell even after all these years.
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on 19 November 2000
This is a timeless classic.
My father loved it as a child (1930s), so did I (1960s) and my own son took to it, too (1990s). People who know and love this book (and also The Box Of Delights) are a fortunate lot. Join us!
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on 29 February 2000
This book was the grand companion of my childhood and I have lost count of the times I have read it, child or adult.
It still casts its spell over 30 years later.
Even yet Kay Harker, his friends and enemies can make me forget my troubles and lose myself in wonder.
Do yourself a favour, give yourself a treat read it!
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on 15 October 2003
I first read this book at the Christmas after the BBC had dramatised it on Children's Hour. I managed to read it through over a few days, and it was really exciting and gripping for me - I don't remember how old I was at the time. I have read it to classes at school on occasion, and they have enjoyed it. It induced me to read some of Masefield's adult books, and was a good preparation for Sard Harker, which is a very odd book. It is rambling and discursive, but I didn't notice as a child. It draws on a lot of folklore and history I didn't know, but that didn't matter, either. It introduced a strange and enticing world of characters whose allegiances were not always obvious, where the reader had to work to make sense of them, and was a book I reread several times with great pleasure.
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on 6 February 2001
I read it first when I was 11 years old, it was a little hard to understand it then but when I read it later at the age of 13 I liked it so much better that I saved the book and didn't read it until my favourite time of the day - bedtime so that it took me quite some time to finish it. Now that I've seen this page about the book I'm getting the urge to read it again. It's a wonderfull story that runs quite fast and I would recommend to read it slowly to understand the plot better, ther is lots of magic about it and a happy ending that leaves you hungry for more, so if you liked that you may also try another book by him called - the box of delights, if I'm not mistaken Kay stars there as well.
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on 10 December 2002
This book is rambling and slightly disorganised and the final confrontation with evil is fairly damp and ineffective. However there is something still engaging and magical in Masefield's storytelling which still works. There is something about the hidden rooms and secret passages in old houses which reminds the reader of all the exciting possibilities of being a child with an active imagination. Indeed the 'baddies' berate the hero Kay for his imagination. Suspend you disbelief and ignore the datedness and lack of shape and revel in a good bedtime read.
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I was first introduced to this book when our Class teacher read a bit of it to us every Friday afternoon until she finished it at the end of term.
Since then I have gone on to own 3 copies of this delightful book because I have read and re-read them so often, they have fallen to pieces.

This is a novel worthy of the Poet Laureate with every single page simply oozing with enjoyment and anticipation for the reader...........A Governess who is a Witch, talking cats, talking foxes, owls, bats, lost treasure? What more could a child want except for it to be real of course. I feel now as I did then that this book will never date and will always be my favourite childrens book of all time.

I so want to be Kay Harker!
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on 30 November 2015
I bought this book for my elder son because he loved the dvd of the Box of Delights. Though a very good reader he just wasn't
interested in this book. A couple of years later I tried it on my second son (aged nearly 11). I read it with him
and we both found it really difficult to work out what was going on ( so we gave up on it after about page 40 and I am going to give
it to a charity shop). I don't think this book is suitable for children under 12, and for those
over 12 it is too childish. I think this book is out of date (and I say that as a primary school teacher).
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on 16 August 2016
I have loved this book since childhood and enjoyed reading it again. But this time I was impressed by all the rather lengthy seafaring bits. I must have skipped those first time round. Today's children I fear would not make it past the first chapter, with its incomprehensible Latin jokes -- for those who never learned it.
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on 3 December 2006
Midnight Folk is about magic and a world where magic is the driving force. I first read this book when I was seven , sixty years ago,and I have reread it many times since. It is quite simply the best and most powerful children's book I have ever read.The author,John Masefield, brings a poet's understanding of imagery, taste and smells to the story.It was published in 1927, at a time when political correctness was a future nightmare so the book may a bit strong for today's children, but hopefully they're a resilient lot!
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