Goodnight Mr Tom PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 February 2009 22:59

Michelle Magorian


 Britain is at war with Germany and children from the big cities are being evacuated to the countryside to avoid the bombs. One such child is William Beach.

 William is a quiet boy who has endured years of abuse at the hands of his mother. He has no friends, can't read or write and is painfully shy. When he arrives at Little Weirwold, William is sent to live with Tom Oakley, a gruff old man who likes to keep himself to himself.

 At first the people of the village think it is a strange pairing, but in time it becomes clear that William and Tom are the best thing that could have happened to each other. Tom becomes the father that William never knew, giving him the confidence to make friends with other children, develop skills in his school work and discover a brilliant talent for art. In return, William teaches Tom how to rejoin the lives of those in his village and enjoy being a part of the world around him.

 Unfortunately, the new life that Tom and William have created is to be shattered when William's mother requests his return to London. How can he possibly go back to the suffering he had endured before being evacuated? London isn't safe, but for William the bombs are the least of his worries.


 Goodnight Mr Tom was quite possibly my favourite book as a child. Michelle Magorian is a wonderful writer and this story is a masterpiece. The relationship between Tom and William is extremely moving and the reader is really made to feel the emotional changes that William goes through, from his fear at the start to his sense of loss when his best friend, Zach, dies.

 Whilst Magorian discusses many important issues such as child abuse and death, Goodnight Mr Tom also manages to use humour. The character of Zach is quite funny with his quirky expressons and zany ideas. The chapter where Tom takes the two boys on holiday to the seaside is charming and almost dreamlike, a sharp contrast to the frightening portrayal of life in London.

 I would highly recommend this book to both girls and boys. It will take you on an emotional rollercoaster, but leave you glad to have been a part of it. I don't know how many times I have read it, but I still find it hard to put down and am looking forward to reading it to Fraser.



Last Updated ( Sunday, 08 February 2009 23:03 )
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