Premise[ edit ] Tom is a modern boy living under quarantine with his aunt and uncle in a city flat, part of a converted building that was a country house during the s—s. At night he slips back in time to the old garden where he finds a girl playmate. They live in an upstairs flat of a big house with no garden, only a tiny yard for parking.
Tom Long, a young schoolboy, has his summer holiday spoiled when his brother Peter contracts measles, and he is packed off to stay with his kindly aunt and pedantic uncle who rent a boring house with an old and erratic grandfather clock in the hall downstairs, and an elderly landlady in the flat upstairs.
Unable to sleep soon after his arrival, Tom hears the clock — at midnight — strike 13, and curiosity drives him out of his bedroom to investigate what time is showing on the dial.
He finds himself in a Victorian garden, some sixty or more years in the past. Each subsequent night at the 13th hour, Tom has a brief period of time to explore the garden, where he meets a young girl called Hatty and strikes up a deep friendship with her. However, the elements of nostalgia and loss may also explain why adult readers love the book so fiercely.
Even at the time of its publication, the reviewer John Rowe Townsend — by no means a critic easy to please — had this to say about it: It is as near to being perfect in its construction and its writing as any book I know. I think only a woman could have written it ; girls should like it, and adults, and thoughtful boys, but not the lovers of the rough stuff.
The book has a profound, mysterious sense of time; it has the beauty of a theorem, but it is not abstract ; it is sensuously as well as intellectually satisfying. The garden is so real that you can have the scent of it in your nostrils… I have no reservations to make about it.
The garden where Tom and Hatty meet was inspired by the mill house in which she lived, which also had a walled garden with a sundial set into one wall. As she explained to Natov and Deluca, the family attachment to this Cambridgeshire house went back for generations, and as a adult she lived in a cottage just across the road from the same house.
Once, her father had walked along the high narrow wall that Tom so memorably walks upon mid way through the book. And like Tom, her father had once skated all the way along the frozen river, to Ely Cathedral. My father was born in that house because my grandfather was also a miller.
We moved in when I was very small, my grandfather died and we took over. The book is a series of short, lucid sentences and perfectly observed details. Here for instance, is a passage near the beginning of the book, where Tom climbs a tree.
Only someone who has climbed a lot of trees could get it so right: The first branches grew conveniently low, and the main trunk had bosses and crevices. With the toes of his left foot fitted into one of these last, Tom curved his hands around the branch over his head.
Then he gave a push, a spring and a strong haul on the arms: The rest of the ascent was easy but interesting: In places the bark had peeled away, and then a deep pink showed beneath, as though the tree were skin and flesh beneath the brown.
Up and up he went, and burst at last from the dim interior into an openness of blue and fiery gold. The sun was the gold, in a blue sky. All around him was a spreading tufted surface of evergreen. He was on a level with the tall south wall…. Click to enlarge Ely Cathedral, circa Towards the end of the book, Tom and the now near-womanly Hatty go skating down the icy river together.
|tom's midnight garden | eBay||This is an example of low fantasy.|
|Children's Literature Association Quarterly||Oxford University Press, December|
The skates were on, and now Hatty and Tom were ready for the ice; two skaters on one pair of skates, which seemed to Tom both the eeriest and the most natural thing in the world. A new skill and power came into him, as though these skates knew their work better than the skater: There was no wind at all that afternoon, and they cut through the still air, faster and faster.
Hatty had pinned her skirt up above her ankles, for greater freedom of movement; and now she abandoned the use of her muff, the better to swing her arms in time with their skating. Their speed made the muff fly out behind her on its cord, and at last a stroke gave it such a violent fling that the cord broke and the fur ball shot away and landed in the middle of a game of bandy and somehow became part of the game and was never seen again.
Hatty saw it disappear, and neither stopped nor faltered in her course but only laughed, as though she cared nothing now for muffs or improprieties or aunts. An excerpt from that production has been posted on Youtube here and the less rewarding adaptation by John Tully is also available online.
The film version, which suffers from terrible miscasting in almost every role — the actor playing Tom was 17 at the time, and looks every bit of it — is best ignored. Hatty does grows up, falls in love and leaves Tom behind as a ghost from her childhood.
The last time he tries to visit the garden it is no longer there. Paradise has been paved, leaving behind only a yard filled with dustbins.
Gardens lend themselves readily to symbolic purposes. In this case, the garden feels real and tangible, albeit experienced with dream-like intensity. Yet it also carries a degree of symbolic meanings so un-obtrusively that I missed them entirely, or glossed over them on first reading.
They are there, though, in at least two respects.This exquisite graphic novel adaptation of Philippa Pearce’s Carnegie Medal–winning Tom’s Midnight Garden reimagines a beloved classic in a new, full-color format.
With stunning art from award-winning graphic artist Edith, readers will be swept up in this transcendent story of friendship.
Children's Literature, Children's Books, Pre K books, Young adult fiction, Children's fiction, Children's non-fiction, Kids books, Reading for kids, Children's Librarians, Books for teachers, Books for girls, Books for boys, Books for reading disabled, Reading disability, Early Childhood Education, STEM, hi-lo books, Readers Advisory, Children's Readers Advisory, Reading Comprehension.
Within that garden, Tom finds Hattie, a girl from another time, with whom he establishes a close friendship. Time in the midnight garden moves differently than the time in Tom's "real" world -- it moves backward and forward and at a different pace.
Tom or TOM may refer to. Tom (given name), a diminutive of Thomas or Tomás or an independent Aramaic given name (and a list of people with the name). Ingeniously plotted as it is, and resting on solid memories for its physical setting, Tom’s Midnight Garden would still have been nothing without the skill that has gone into the deceptively simple writing.
The book is a series of short, lucid sentences and perfectly observed details. Buy Tom's Midnight Garden; Buy Tom's Midnight Garden with Rewards. Schools earn Scholastic Rewards when parents or staff order from us. If you work at a school you can use Rewards to buy books and resources for your classroom or library.