|Tom's Midnight Gardenby Philippa Pearce|
"Tom was a cross and resentful boy when he was sent to stay with his uncle and aunt because his brother, Peter , had caught the measles. As soon as he joined his relatives in their small apartment, he knew he would be bored and lonely. He would miss Peter as well as the garden to explore, there was only a paved yard and a row of garbage cans outside the back door.
When the time came for Tom to go home, however, he did everything he could to prolong his visit. For he had made a strange and wonderful discovery--a discovery that he could share with no one, except Peter. And Peter believed it all, and even, for one brief moment, came to share in Tom's fantastic midnight adventure."
One night while staying with relatives, Tom hears the grandfather clock strike 13 times. He goes to investigate and is transported to a garden in Victorian times where he meets a girl named Hatty. Mysteriously, whenever Tom visits the garden, it is a different season and Hatty is a different age. The ending is beautiful and bittersweet. If you are tired of all the paranormal and dystopian offerings out there, take the time to read this little classic.
I tend to review new books that come out, but I'm also going to take the time to review some classics of children's literature. I hope that these classics are still being read because there is something to be said for beautiful prose and good storytelling that has nothing to do with vampires, werewolves or the apocalypse (zombie or otherwise). Tom's Midnight Garden won the Carnegie Award in 1958. It reminds me a lot of one of my favorite books as a child - Magic Elizabeth. It also has the feel of The Secret Garden. As much as I enjoyed it, however, for me it had neither the magical quality of Magic Elizabeth, nor the haunting quality of The Secret Garden. Still, it is definitely worth reading.