Philipa Pearce’s 1958 Tom’s Midnight Garden (Harper Trophy, $5.95, 229 pp., ages 10 and up) is considered one of the finest novels written for children, "as near as any book I know to being perfect in its construction and writing" according to critic John Rowe Townsend. But I think Pearce’s recently republished first novel, Minnow on the Say (illustrated by Edward Ardizzone, Greenwillow, $16.95, 246 pp., ages 8 and up) is even better....
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Daria Donnelly (1959-2004) was an associate editor of Commonweal from 2000 to 2004. In 2002, after having been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, she became associate editor (at large) and co-editor of the poetry section.