Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Tom's Midnight Garden - Philippa Pearce

 Tom's Midnight Garden What a lovely, lovely story.  Carnagie Medal Winner in 1958, it's year of publication, this has been in print in some form or another ever since.  I wish I had a child I could read this to - or a child who would read it and enjoy it as I have just done.  Tom's brother Peter has gone down with measles, and it is decided that Tom should be sent off to stay with his aunt and uncle.  What a disappointment for him - its the beginning of the holidays, and the brothers had so much planned.  So off he goes to a tiny flat in a big house with no garden, and no-one to play with (in any case, he is being kept away from people in case he is developing measles himself).  There is no inspiration for him now, the flat looks out onto new houses, there is only a communal yard for the dustbins, and, well, its basically very boring indeed.  Until, one night, he hears the grandfather clock in the communal hall strike 13, and a great adventure begins.
Can ghosts go back in time and visit the past?  or is the past a ghostly time?  Don't be frightened - just go along with Tom and visit the garden of the big house every night when the clock strikes 13, meet Hatty, the most wonderful little girl and playmate, and like Tom, try to imagine some way of stopping time altogether.