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Tom's Midnight Garden [Paperback]

Philippa Pearce
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 10.95
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Book Description

Feb. 3 2008
When Tom is sent to his aunt's house for the summer he resigns himself to weeks of boredom. Lying awake one night he listens to the grandfather clock in the hall strike every hour. Eleven . . . Twelve . . . Thirteen. Thirteen! Tom rushes down the stairs and opens the back door. There, awaiting him, is a beautiful garden. A garden that shouldn't exist. And there are children in the garden too - are they ghosts? Or is it Tom who is really the ghost . . .

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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

From the Publisher

line illustrations --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, classic story. Dec 31 2001
By A Customer
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 unbearably sad, in a happy kind of way, if that makes sense. It's the story of life. It's beautifully written, and a haunting evocation of a place, a garden, long ago - so powerfully written you'll feel you'll come to know every corner 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. You can read it when a child and appreciate it, and also as an adult and view it from a different perspective, of a story of a bored boy and one very lonely little girl, and how their friendship transcends even time itself. The ending is so powerful, so moving that it'll have you in tears, and yet it's treated without sentimentality and without condescending to it's readers, of any age. This book is a part of my life, forever.

This is a true classic for all time. Buy it today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books ever April 28 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
"Tom's Midnight Garden" belongs on any "Best Novels of the 20th Century" list. I came to "Midnight Garden" through Pearce's other books. Read her ghost stories (many about animals), and tales of English urban and suburban children's lives. Ms. Pearce never talks down to children, treating her readers and creations with respect. Also, the adult insights and regrets that we may have forgotten experiencing when we were young, abound in her work. She is very wise. A quick example: A boy dreads a family get together for great grandmother's 100th birthday celebration because of a vicious, bullying cousin. Nevertheless, the terrible reunion day arrives. During a game of hide and seek, as the bully chases our hero, he happens to duck into a quiet room only to find that the 100 year old grandmother has been warehoused there, wheeled out of the way at her own party. Even though age and infirmity have rendered her hardly able to speak, it seems that she senses the boy's fear as the door handle turns and the bully comes inside. As the bully advances into the room, it's silence is broken by a hideous, ghostly wail. Bully runs terrified from the hellish moan, and great-grandmother's face has a slight smile on it, the only (other) physical action she can manifest. She has moaned and (do I remember correctly?) popped her teeth out and protected the boy the only way she can. But that's not all. Our boy gets away, but thinking back on the incident, wishes he had properly thanked great grandmother for her help. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Haven't read it? You've lost a lot. July 28 2000
Format:School & Library Binding
With the possible exception of Falkner's "Moonfleet" this is my all-time favourite children's book. I loved it as a child, read it as an adolescent, enjoyed it as an adult, & read it aloud to my children as a father. The story here is how a boy finds his way into the past of a house he is visiting, and his growing fascination with the life of a little girl in that past. The style of writing is so matter of fact, i think i truly believed as a child because there is no sense of "look how cute this idea is" you often get in books of the sort. The reader is invited to fully participate in and identify with both Tom and Hattie, and their growing friendship. The climax of the book, as Tom discovers what has truly been happening, never fails to move me to tears; just thinking about Mrs. Bartholomew's line right now is tightening my throat. Read this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A classic, but it seems rather dated now. Feb. 23 1998
By A Customer
Format:Library Binding
I read this book as a child and remembered it fondly, but in little detail. Reading it aloud now to my six year old son several things strike me. Firstly, it's not as magical as I remember, which is surprising. Secondly, the sense of place is very well evoked and I'm ashamed that I did not remember its Fenland setting. Thirdly, Time - the subject of the novel - has not been kind to it. It was first published in 1958 and the present-day scenes have a contemporary feel to them. In other words, it seems dated, but the late 1950s, which were a very repressive period in recent English history, have yet to acquire the kind of nostalgic charm that attaches to, say, Arthur Ransome's books which were mostly written and set in the 1930s.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Amazing that already 40 years ago, when this book was published for the first time, the subject of "time travels" was treated. This is exactly what we understand now by the modern theory of parallel worlds. Therefore this book is not only interesting for children, but for adults as well. Another aspect why I like the novel and recommend it for children, is the point that by reading the description of the garden you get a deep respect of nature. I simply find it lovely that Mrs Pearce gives names to the trees, as Tricksy and St. Paul for example. The best thing to do is to read the book on a warm summer evening sitting in your garden!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, magical, classic
This really is a beautiful, haunting, magical, classic book. I was so happy I discovered it as a kid because I had heard nothing about it and haven't since. Read more
Published on July 24 2010 by John Kong
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
This is a wonderful book for children. I read it as a child and could not remember the name but kept searching for it and finally found it. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2009 by Suzanne
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, moving and unforgettable
I first read this book as a young teenager and no matter how many times I re-read it, I am always moved almost to tears by the depth of feeling the author writes about. Read more
Published on July 25 2001 by moonstealer
5.0 out of 5 stars Back In Time
Tom's Midnight Garden is an awesome book. I love how it keeps you in suspence about what is actually going on. I also love how it talks about past and present together. Read more
Published on June 2 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars Still charming
Ah, rereading this book took me back. It really has everything a child could want from a story - sympathetic characters, some sentiment, some action, and an excellent ending. Read more
Published on Dec 15 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Magic!
I discovered this book when I bought it to read to my children. Pure delight for fantasy lovers. You won't be able to put it down.
Published on Dec 11 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed as a child, and as an adult.
This book was, as others have pointed out, something I read as a child. The book itself was on loan to me from a friend of the family. Read more
Published on Aug. 9 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting, beautiful tale of love that transcends time
I first read this book at age 12, and still love it today at age 50. As a child, I loved it as a mystery, a ghost story. Read more
Published on July 17 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible book
I read this book when I was nine years old and I never forgot it. I forced all my sisters to read it, and then they forced all _their_ friends to read it. Read more
Published on April 12 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Description, Not Enough Story
Well, this book was not too good. The author kept telling how great everything was and then just took the story and ran it in circles. Read more
Published on March 12 1999
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