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Tom's Midnight Garden Paperback – October 30, 1992

57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Philippa Pearce is the author of many books, several of which are considered classics both in the United States and in her native England. Her award-winning titles include Tom's Midnight Garden, which received the Carnegie Medal and was an ALA Notable Book; The Battle of Bubble and Squeak, which received the Whitbread Award; and Mrs. Cockle's Cat, which received the Kate Greenaway Medal.



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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 860L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; Reissue edition (October 30, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064404455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064404457
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 64 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on August 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Do you remember those old textbooks they used to hand out in fourth grade English class back in the 1980s? How they'd contain a section or a snippet out of some of the great works of children's fiction in the hopes of whetting our elementary appetites and interests so that we'd seek out the books on our own? No? Well, I do. I remember reading one of these textbooks one day and coming across a section in which a boy lives in a house where the clock strikes thirteen one night. Then he stumbles onto a magnificent eerie garden that only appears at this time. For years I carried the images from this single slight little passage with me, not knowing where they came from. It was only when I became a children's librarian that I decided to rediscover my mystery book. It didn't take long either. "Tom's Midnight Garden" is a true literary classic. Combining a British love of gardens with a bit of ghostly hauntings, time travel, and magical hours that don't exist in the regular world, the book has remained a classic, even if it has slipped out of the public eye a jot.

Tom and Peter are uncommonly close brothers. For them, summer is the time when they can play endless games in their backyard for hours at a time. Imagine Tom's sorrow then when Peter comes down with the measles right at the beginning of the warm months AND Tom has been quarantined to his stuffy old aunt and uncle's home. The boy is, needless to say, less than delighted with this chain of events. His relatives occupy the second floor flat in an old building that is separated into apartments. To top it all off, Tom has insomnia every night and finds himself wandering the building. One night the grandfather clock on the first floor starts chiming an unheard of thirteen chimes.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Elsie Wilson on 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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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 1999
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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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By moonstealer on July 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
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. A simple concept such as loneliness connects two characters across the abyss of time. The author skillfully handles the idea of the past existing concurrently with the present. The simple wish for a friend is the underlying force of this story. This is a book that once I read, I never forgot.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 31, 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 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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