Tom's Midnight Garden Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Tom's Midnight Garden

Tom is a twelve year old boy who is angry about being sent to spend the summer with his childless aunt and uncle after his brother falls ill with a contagious fever. Tom thinks his summer will be ruined. He'll have to spend time in a poky old flat with his boring aunt and uncle and won't be able to do any of the outdoor activities that he and his brother had planned for their vacation. At first, the flat is everything Tom feared. He has no one to play with and nothing to do. Then one night Tom hears the landlady's antique grandfather clock strike thirteen times. When Tom goes downstairs to investigate, he finds that the house has been transformed to a large manor, instead of a series of flats, and the formerly paved backyard is now a sprawling country garden, complete with grass, trees and even a playmate – a young girl named Hatty.
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Tom returns to the garden each night and delights in the fun he and Hatty have, but something about the situation bothers him. Even though it's night in his world, in the garden it is almost always day. And sometimes Tom can't find Hatty anywhere. Plus, while he stays the same age, Hatty does not. Tom's not sure if he's a ghost… or if Hatty is.

As the mystery of the garden unravels, Tom's friendship with Hatty teaches him that girls can be as fun as boys, and that friendship is important at any age.

The review of this Book prepared by Jennifer Selk

It is night, and Tom is awakened by the grandfather clock in the hall, he counts the chimes, "...ten, eleven, twelve... thirteen!" In this magical hour outside reality, Tom is transported into the past, into a beautiful garden of trees, flowers and an unusual new friend...

As Tom explores this world, he becomes increasingly caught up in the trials of his new Victorian life, made harder by the fact that the very few who CAN see him think that he is a ghost and would do anything to avoid helping him return to normality once again.
The review of this Book prepared by bonzai

Chapter Analysis of Tom's Midnight Garden

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 15%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 55%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   very upbeat    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Coming of age    -   Yes Youngster becomes    -   an adult (general) Time Travel:    -   largely backwards/past Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Kid's book (ages 7-14) Time Travel story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Age:    -   a kid


Earth setting:    -   20th century    -   19th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Philippa Pearce Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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