Tom's Midnight Garden │ Vintage Literature

Tom's Midnight Garden

You want to know what I read recently?

Tom's Midnight Garden. This book is a middle-grade work, written in 1958 by a British author, Phillipa Pearce. Despite those two things that could've persuaded me not to like it (back when I was ten years old and first read it) it instead endeared the book to me. It still felt relevant.

I didn't question the age of the book when I got it for Christmas one year (I think I was ten years old.) I just read it. It was a book, it was a gift from my parents, therefore I would read it. (None of this iPhone/tablet/mumbo jumbo of today).

Turns out, it was one of the most magical books I'd ever read. It literally created the ache in my heart to write books like this. To this day, it's still that magical for me. This book propelled me to want to be a writer.

While I'm still working on that quest of writing, my love for these books hasn't changed

I read all kinds of books today, but I particularly love middle-grade fiction.  Growing up, reading was one of my favorite things to do alongside riding bikes, playing with my cats, and pretend "shop" with my sisters. I had a picturesque and idyllic life. And there's no way I'm going to apologize for it. My life was grand.

And it continues to be grand, in part, because of the books I read.

From Nancy Drew to Little House on the Prairie, and Anne of Green Gables, there was always a supply of books to read. Not to mention, the library was a half mile from my house. My sisters and I went constantly.

It's probably why I love gardens and flowers so much and also why I love magical-esque books from C.S. Lewis's Narnia series to other books set in real life but with magical twists. I'm not talking about Harry Potter (though Rowling's writing is exceptional) but more like realistic, grounded fiction with a supernatural element.

The Secret Garden has this concept, as do books written by Neil Gaiman, like The Graveyard Book. This is also the case for one of my favorite of all times middle-grade author, Kate DiCamillo. I just read her most recent book, Ferris. Again, the book is grounded in reality, with a supernatural twist. Such a fantastic book and I would highly recommend reading it.

While I don't know if I'll ever get that book in my head off the ground, (I did self-publish one about a dozen years ago) I do know books like these make me happy to live the life I do. I love reading and writing. And I know kids today - despite phones, iPads, and technology - can love reading like this still. They just need the right books.

Tom's Midnight Garden which I re-read a week or two ago after thirty years since my last reading, stands the test of time. It's ageless, classic, and the perfect book with the right amount of mystery, intrigue, and relatability. 

And that's what's so great about middle-grade fiction. Everyone can and should read it. It's not just for kids and it's not just for adults. It's the Goldilocks of categories.

Looking for a fun, quick book to read? Looking to read something to your kids, ages 7-14? Looking for old literature whose stories transcend time? This book is it.


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