The Time Garden

by Edward Eager

Other authorsN. M. Bodecker (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2016



Local notes

PB Eag




HMH Books for Young Readers (2016), Edition: Reprint, 224 pages


While spending the summer in a house by the sea, four cousins, Roger, Ann, Eliza, and Jack, discover a bank of wild thyme whose magic propels them on a series of adventures back and forth through time.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

224 p.; 5.13 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member phoebesmum
Deliberately written to emulate Edith Nesbit, this features four (relatively) modern American children spending a summer in a magical garden that transports them to historical events (which they object to, as being too educational), into 'Little Women', where they are delighted not to meet Amy, as
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none of them have yet forgiven her for marrying Laurie, and, once, crossing over into one of the author's other books. Hardly a classic, but rather delightful.
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LibraryThing member antiquary
This is my original copy of The Time Garden, given me as a child. I dearly loved all the Edward Eager books, but this one especially interested me because the children (the second generation in this case) are using thyme to travel back in time and I was always interested in history. I particularly
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recall an encounter with realistically tough American patriots in the revolution, whom the toad who presides over the Time Garden provokes by singing pro-British songs, and an encounter with Queen Elizabeth I who is characteristically strong-minded and at the same time capable of being charmed by a young man.
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LibraryThing member aleader
Four children travel through time with the help of a creature called a Natterjack. They visit many American historical events, including the ride of Paul Revere and the underground railroad. There are funny scenes like when the Natterjack sings Rule Britannia in a America. Readers will be
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interested to learn more of the events.
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LibraryThing member kaitanya64
Four cousins find a garden that allows them to travel magically through time (by sniffing thyme). As in all of Eager's books, however, magic is unpredictable and often uncontrollable. This is a great book to read aloud with a mixed age group because the thrills and danger are not too excessive for
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younger listeners, but the wit and history based humor will appeal to older kids and adults. Another good thing about Eager is that his characters are realistic and interesting. His girls are often brave and forthright, and the boys don't have all the fun. Solid moral values but with a sense of fun and self-deprecating humor.
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LibraryThing member PollyMoore3
I remember enjoying Eager's books borrowed from the library when I was small; this one, and "Half Magic".("Magic by the Lake" was a bit contrived though). He admired E Nesbit's magical stories and modelled his American children's adventures on them. This is funny and entertaining; we will just have
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a brief sigh and headshake over the "Red Indians" who exist only to scalp people, and the cannibals on the desert island who eat people..... There is an episode featuring the Underground Railway and the children help a slave family to escape in that, so he does redeem himself a bit.
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(173 ratings; 4.2)
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