The Midnight Folk Print
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 22:30

John Masefield

Orphan Kay Harker lives in a vast old country house, in the charge of Sir Theopompous and governess Sylvia Pouncer, who confiscates his toys and makes him spend his time learning Latin grammar.

When his long-dead sea-captain great grandfather, Aston Tirrold Harker, steps out of an old picture and relates the tale of the treasure taken by him in the islands of Santa Barbera but subsequently lost, Kay sets out to learn more.

As the clock strikes midnight every night, things change in the house, with animals becoming able to speak and many strange goings-on.  Kay learns from his cat, Nibbins, that there is a coven of witches who also seek the treasure.  This coven includes his governess, two other household cats, Greymalkin and Blackmalkin and other witches led by the evil Abner Brown. The cellar rat cannot be trusted as he spies for the highest bidder, but it is ultimately a collection of old toys that come to Kay’s rescue.

This book is an undoubted classic, and a fore-runner to today’s ever-popular Harry Potter style fantasy novel genre.  It cannot fail to develop the imagination of the reader or listener.

The excitement of the adventure made it difficult to put this book down. I wanted to stop breathing in case the smallest noise gave away Kay’s hiding place whilst he was eavesdropping on a witches’ meeting.  From the hunt for treasure and unusual characters through to the return of the treasure to its rightful owner, Kay’s adventures are sure to thrill, and leave a thirst to read the sequel, The Box of Delights.

Aimed at children from around 9 years upwards, I would happily recommend The Midnight Folk to both boys and girls alike, and suspect that older brother and sisters, and even parents, will use the excuse of bedtime reading to enjoy the book for themselves.



Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 January 2009 22:53 )