Moondial by Helen Cresswell

Written by Helen Creswell
Published by Faber
Ages 8-12

“What happens to time when the moon shines on a sundial?”


Araminta Cane, Minty for short, has always had something of a sixth sense. A cold spot in the hall, a figure at the end of the bed, these are common occurrences for Minty and they’ve come to be comfortingly familiar. When Minty first comes to Belton for the summer she excitedly discovers there is great power and mystery behind the ethereal children’s voices no-one else seems to hear, the stone carvings on the old Victorian house, and, most of all, the sundial… moondial. Minty’s temporary stay at Belton becomes indefinite when an accident leaves her in the care of a nice-enough but bland and humourless godmother so, between hospital visits, Minty takes it upon herself to solve the mystery of Belton house.

Helen Creswell’s classic novel is, like all her other works, carefully plotted, artfully constructed, and a must read. Personally, I recommend the 2011 illustrated addition by Irish illustrator P.J. Lynch.

Other must reads by Helen Cresswell include The Piemakers and Absolute Zero. 


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