As per Children's Novel about a group of children finding plates with owl patterns on them, and building paper versions, both of which disappear, I owned a hardback book as a child (somewhere in the later 1980s to the early 1990s) that had excerpts of various classic stories (Carnegie Medal award winners? At least two of the identified books are) that included Margaret Mahy's The Haunting and Alan Garner's The Owl Service. It was an oversized book, almost coffee-table width and height, and deeper, with color illustrations that make me think of watercolors. There was a story involving a factory that either did laundry, or made carpets, that was largely about how dangerous it was for the children working there, who often lost fingers or limbs to the machine. I think an early story had a boy finding a dying (or dead) man who'd been assaulted, and being afraid of the superstition that a dying man retained their last sight on the surface of their eyes.

  • The mention of a story about a dangerous factory for children makes me think of a book titled "Midnight is a place"
    – Danny Mc G
    Dec 27, 2019 at 1:34

1 Answer 1


Could this be The Illustrated Treasury of Modern Literature for Children? Published in 1985 by Exeter Books of NY. This eBay listing shows that the authors include Margaret Mahy, Alan Garner and Joan Aiken (to match DannyMcG's comment about Midnight is a Place), and shows a water colour looking painting for The Owl Service inside.

The first story involving the dying man and the image being trapped on the surface of his eyes is Leon Garfield's Smith (not SF&F) and indeed Joan Aiken's Midnight is a Place was the story involving a carpet mill hazardous to the workers' health including a stamping mechanism which occasionally crushes the children who rush out to sweep.

  • Bingo! That cover matches perfectly. How did you find it?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jan 1, 2020 at 15:05
  • Did a google search for "joan aiken" "alan garner" "margaret mahy" anthology and it was the fourth option - that page worldcat.org/title/… listed the full contents page to confirm it was the right story for each author. (That's the Hamlyn version rather than Exeter Books; I think the Hamlyn one is UK and Exeter Books is US?)
    – Showsni
    Jan 1, 2020 at 23:43

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