Winning Year: 1958
Author: Philippa Pearce
Title: Tom's Midnight Garden

Original Publisher: OUP
Current Publisher: Oxford University Press
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780192717771
In Print

When his brother Peter gets measles, 14-year-old Tom Long is sent to stay with his uncle and aunt in Ely. They live in a first-floor flat in what was once a grand manor house, now run down. One night Tom hears the old grandfather clock in the hallway strike 13. Creeping downstairs, he finds the house restored to its former glory and outside stretches a huge sunlit garden.

Reader Development Pack (PDF)



Philippa Pearce was the youngest of four children of a flour-miller. The family lived in the Mill House on the upper reaches of the River Cam. "Although there wasn;t much cash we had lots of space," remembers Philippa, "We had a canoe, we swam, we fished with net and with rod, we skated on flooded water meadows. On Saturday afternoons, we used to creep into the mill by a secret way and play among the bulging sacks, and hide."

Philippa's second - and most famous - book Tom's Midnight Garden was firmly rooted in her childhood memories. "My father had to retire and they sold the Mill House. Suddenly my childhood was chopped off from me. As they were in the process of selling, I began thinking of writing a story based on the house and the garden and this feeling of things slipping away."

Philippa lived for many years back in Great Shelford, along the same lane from the Mill House where she grew up. She died in 2006.


BB Collector


Superb book to read to your child ! A story of a boy called Tom who stays for a while at a relatives apartment that happens to be in an old mansion house without any gardens ( or has it got a garden ? ) Tom is facinated by the old clock in the hallway of the house why does it chime thirteen ?

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