Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
This is a classic that I like but do not enjoy, however well worth the $1 price tag at the library book sale. We spend so long time-traveling with Tom and enjoying his attempts in the present to talk about space-time with his uncle, that to discover abruptly at the end that Tom is actually visiting a dream plane with an old woman is fairly unsatisfying. And kind of weird. Wasn’t time travel interesting enough?
Bored and lonely, in the deep hours of the night Tom lies awake with only the chiming of an old grandfather clock for company. But one midnight the clock chimes thirteen. Tom tiptoes downstairs to investigate. To his amazement the moon is shining on the most splendid, lush garden he has ever seen, a garden that had not been in the backyard when Tom went to bed. Stranger still, the next morning the garden has vanished.
Night after night time stands still as Tom, summoned by the clock’s chiming, explores the ghastly garden, wishing he could stay. Then one night he discovers he is not alone. Who is his ghostly nocturnal companion?