Tom's Midnight Garden

Tom's Midnight Garden


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Winner of the Carnegie Medal

From beloved author Philippa Pearce, this sixtieth-anniversary edition is the perfect way to share this transcendent story of friendship with a new generation of readers. Philip Pullman, bestselling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, called Tom’s Midnight Garden “A perfect book.” 

When Tom’s brother gets sick, he’s shipped off to spend what he’s sure will be a boring summer with his aunt and uncle in the country. But then Tom hears the old grandfather clock in the hall chime thirteen times, and he’s transported back to an old garden where he meets a young, lonely girl named Hatty.

Tom returns to the garden every night to have adventures with Hatty, who mysteriously grows a little older with each visit. As the summer comes to an end, Tom realizes he wants to stay in the garden with Hatty forever.

Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Tom’s Midnight Garden is a classic of children’s literature and a deeply satisfying time-travel mystery. This newly repackaged sixtieth-anniversary paperback is the perfect entrée for readers of all ages to the vivid world that The Guardian called “A modern classic.” Features new interior spot art by Jaime Zollars.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062696588
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 190,868
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

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.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


If, standing alone on the back doorstep, Tom allowed himself to weep tears, they were tears of anger. He looked his good-bye at the garden, and raged that he had to leave it — leave it and Peter. They had planned to spend their time here so joyously these holidays.

Town gardens are small, as a rule, and the Longs' garden was no exception to the rule; there was a vegetable plot and a grass plot and one flower-bed and a rough patch by the back fence. In this last the apple-tree grew: it was large, but bore very little fruit, and accordingly the two boys had always been allowed to climb freely over it.

These holidays they would have built a tree-house among its branches.

Tom gazed, and then turned back into the house. As he passed the foot of the stairs, he called up, 'Good-bye, Peter!' There was a croaking answer.

He went out on to the front doorstep, where his mother was waiting with his suitcase. He put his hand out for it, but Mrs Long clung to the case for a moment, claiming his attention first. 'You know, Tom,' she said, 'It's not nice for you to be rushed away like this to avoid the measles, but it's not nice for us either. Your father and I will miss you, and so will Peter. Peter's not having a nice time, anyway, with measles.'

'I didn't say you'd all be having a nice time without me" said Tom. 'All I said was —'

'Hush!' whispered his mother, looking past him to the road and the car that waited there and the man at its driving-wheel. She gave Tom the case, and then bentover him, pushing his tie up to cover his collar-button and letting her lips come to within a few inches of his ear. 'Tom, dear Tom —' she murmured, trying to prepare him for the weeks ahead, 'remember that you will be a visitor, and do try — oh, what can I say? — try to be good.'

She kissed him, gave him a dismissive push towards the car and then followed him to it. As Tom got in, Mrs Long looked past him to the driver. 'Give my love to Gwen,' she said, 'and tell her, Alan, how grateful we are to you both for taking Tom off at such short notice. It's very kind of you, isn't it, Tom?

'Very kind,' Tom repeated bitterly.

'There's so little room in the house,' said Mrs Long, 'when there's illness.'

'We're glad to help out,' Alan said. He started the engine.

Tom wound down the window next to his mother. 'Good-bye then!'

'Oh, Tom!' Her lips trembled. 'I am sorry — spoiling the beginning of your summer holidays like this!'

The car was moving; he had to shout back: 'I'd rather have had measles with Peter — much rather!'

Tom waved good-bye angrily to his mother, and then, careless even of the cost to others, waved to an inflamed face pressed against a bedroom window. Mrs Long looked upwards to see what was there, raised her hands in a gesture of despair — Peter was supposed to keep strictly to his bed-and hurried indoors.

Tom closed the car window and sat back in his seat, in hostile silence. His uncle cleared his throat and said: 'Well I hope we get on reasonably well.'

This was not a question, so Tom did not answer it.

He knew he was being rude, but he made excuses for himself: he did not much like Uncle Alan, and he did not want to like him at all. Indeed, he would have preferred him to be a brutal uncle. 'If only he'd beat me, thought Tom, 'then I could run away home, and Mother and Father would say I did right, in spite of the quarantine for measles. But he'll never even try to beat me, I know; and Aunt Gwen — she's worse, because she's a child-lover, and she's kind. Cooped up for weeks with Uncle Alan and Aunt Gwen in a poky flat . . .' He had never visited them before, but he knew that they lived in a flat, with no garden.

They drove in silence. Their route took them through Ely; but they only stopped for Alan Kitson to buy a picture-postcard of the cathedral tower. It was for Tom. Tom was bitterly disappointed that he was not allowed to climb the tower, but his uncle pointed out to him with great reasonableness that this was quite out of the question: he was in quarantine for measles. He must not mix with Peter, in case he caught his measles; and he must not mix with other people either, in case he already had Peter's measles. Fortunately, the Kitsons had both had measles, anyway.

They drove on through Ely and the Fens, and then through Castleford and beyond, to where the Kitsons lived, in a big house now converted into flats. The house was crowded round with newer, smaller houses that beat up to its very confines in a broken sea of bay-windows and gable-ends and pinnacles. It was the only big house among them: oblong, plain, grave.

Alan Kitson sounded the car-horn and turned into the drive — only it was really too short to be called a drive now. 'The house had a better frontage, I believe, until they built up opposite, and had to widen the road too.' He pulled up outside a pillared front-door; and Aunt Gwen appeared in the doorway, laughing and wanting to kiss Tom. She drew him inside, and Uncle Alan followed with the luggage.

There were cold stone flags under Tom's feet, and in his nostrils a smell of old dust that it had been nobody's business to disperse.

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Tom's Midnight Garden 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I took against this book as a child, and refused to read it, no matter how much people told me I'd like it. I enjoyed it now, but I am not sure I would have enjoyed it then. Not much happens in the story, but the bitter sweet sense of time slipping away each time Tom goes to the garden and Hatty grows a little bit older is delightful. It may be appealing to my sense of nostalgia, i think I would have demanded more action or mystery when I was little.
Eurekas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Marvelous! Tom is sent to stay with his aunt and uncle while his brother Peter recovers from the measles.At first he is afraid he will be bored senseless as there is no one to play with and he is being kept in the apartment because he might be contagious. His aunt and uncle's flat is in an old house which has been divided. In the entryway there is a large clock which doesn't work well and sounds the hours at odd times. Because he isn't getting any exercise and is eating rich food Tom can't sleep, so he listens to the clock and when it strikes 13 he gets up to investigate. Downstairs he finds if he opens the door to the outside there is a beautiful garden, going back in the day time it isn't there. It can only be reached at night when the clock strikes 13. In the garden Tom meets Hattie, an orphan from another time, who lives with her aunt and cousins. Her aunt doesn't like her and Hattie has no friends except Tom who no one else can see except the gardener, Abel. Tom thinks Hattie is a ghost and Hattie thinks the the same of Tom. Read on to see what the real situation is. A very good read. I highly recommend it.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tom¿s brother has come down with measles and Tom is sent to stay with his aunt and uncle for the duration of his brother¿s sickness. Tom is not happy about having to stay cooped up in a small apartment. And then everything changes. A clock strikes thirteen and Tom makes his way out a door and into a magical garden where he makes a new friend and has a thousand exciting adventures.I¿m not a fan of ghost stories and I like my magical stories to include super powers, but despite the ghosts in the book and the lack of special abilities in this story, I loved this book. I became a child when Tom entered the garden and I went with Tom as he wandered through time.
t1bclasslibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book grew on me the more I read it- Tom time travels to a more and more developed and intricate past, that the reader understands as Tom himself begins to. The final strands are pulled together at the very end. The end isn't surprising, except that it seems a bit out of line timewise going from the present day (the book was written in 1958, so it's not out of line for that time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had never heard of the book until I saw the movie version on tv. the movie was great and the book is too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every time a door slams in your face another opens to true greatness, and in this story this happens. A boy finds that being away is bad, then finds that it is so good that he doesn't wish to return.
Guest More than 1 year ago
wow it was really good . great plot and details the only weird thing-how many boys do you know that froleck through gardens and flowers
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful book about time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I checked this book out at the library originally. The summary looked really interesting, so I thought that I would give it a try. And I came to realize, that this book was not just interesting, it was FANTASTIC. Philippa Pearce weaved this story together amazingly and it is a delgiht to both children and adults.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book made me laugh in the begining and cry in the ending. i could never put this book down. i would read right through it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
toms midnight garden made me laugh cry and enjoy my self its twist were exciting and I didnt want to put the book down
Guest More than 1 year ago
VERY GOOD. I would recommend it to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was kind of boring. It had some interesting details, but it did not keep my attention.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Story pretty much bored me to death. It goes on and on in details that you can't understand. It has some good parts, but I skipped entire chapters because it's so boring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a well written, descriptive story. It really kept my attention, and I felt others would enjoy this book too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this the first time round at about age 8, and just about believing it could all be true. I've re-read it twice as an adult and enjoyed it tremendously - it's just a little sad because I don't believe any more! I recommend this for all children before they grow out of being able to believe in magic gardens....