April Books 2) Tom's Midnight Garden, by Philippa Pearce
I can't quite believe that I managed to reach the age of nearly 44 without having read this brilliant children's fantasy, though I had fond if vague memories of Dorothea Brooking's 1974 BBC adaptation. Tom, sent to stay with his aunt and uncle after his brother develops measles, discovers that when the clock in the hall strikes thirteen in the middle of the night he is able to visit the garden as it was in the past, and makes friends with Hattie who lives in that past time, though they argue about which of them is a ghost. For the adult reader the story is actually Hattie's, Tom being the not completely reliable viewpoint character, and the ending, which I remembered as cutely satisfying when I watched it on TV aged seven, carries a stupendous emotional punch now that I am old enough to really appreciate it. A fantastic book; read it with your children, or borrow someone else's to read it with.