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1001 Stories Collection

Tom's Midnight Garden

1001 Toms Midnight Garden
Added on 16th August 2020

Author Philippa Pearce
First published 1958
Publisher Oxford University Press

Family Historical Magic Friends
1001

A classic novel that is one of the best known time-slip stories in children’s literature.

Story

When his brother contracts the measles, Tom is sent to his aunt and uncle, who live in a city flat. The building was once a Victorian mansion, but its grounds are now occupied by modern houses. At night however, the clock strikes 13, and the back door leads Tom into a garden of a time long past.

Why we chose it

Tom’s Midnight Garden is a classic children’s novel – a beautiful, haunting time slip story about loneliness, friendship and growing up.

Where it came from

Philippa Pearce, born in 1920, was a radio producer for the BBC, an editor at Oxford University Press, and wrote children’s books. The Victorian country house was inspired by the house she grew up in, located near Cambridge. While writing Tom’s Midnight Garden, she lived across the road from it again.

Where it went next

Over the six decades since its publication, Tom’s Midnight Garden has been reprinted many times and adapted into radio plays, films and a stage play. It won the Carnegie Medal and was chosen as one of the top ten medal-winning works in a public vote for the Association’s 70th anniversary in 2007.

Associated stories

Philippa Pearce wrote a number of novels for children including Minnow on the Say, A Dog So Small, The Battle of Bubble and Squeak, The Little Gentleman and The Way to Sattin Shore.

Tom’s Midnight Garden is one of the best known time-slip stories in children’s literature. Other classics include When Marnie Was There by Joan G Robinson, Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer, A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley while among more recent time slip children’s novels are Back to Backbrick by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald and Beswitched by Kate Saunders.

Added on 16th August 2020

Author Philippa Pearce
First published 1958
Publisher Oxford University Press

Family Historical Magic Friends
1001