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Good Night, Mr. Tom Paperback – November 13, 1986
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About the Author
Michelle Magorian was born in Portsmouth, England, and grew up in such diverse places as Perth, Australia, and Singapore. She now makes her home in London.
An actress, dancer, and writer by profession, Ms. Magorian has worked with numerous touring and repertory companies, and spent two years training as a mime at Marcel Marceau's world-renowned L'Ecole Intenationale de Mime in Paris, France. An absorbing interest in the history and nature of children's books led her to try her hand at writing for younger readers. Good Night, Mr. Tom -- Which is her first book -- grew out of a short story she had written about the meeting of the two main characters. As Ms. Magorian explains, "I had to know what happened -- so I wrote the book."
Her other writing credits include a television play and poetry.
Top Customer Reviews
The two main adults in this story, the mother and Mr. Tom, seem very similar in the beginning. Yet, by the end, we see that they are completely different. What really hit home was this: hard times can make hard people, but one's true colors shine through when faced with others in need.
Mr. Tom's gruff exterior is only his exterior. He's really got a warm heart, which he opens up to Willie and shows him the love that's supposed to be in a family.
The mother's quiet, strict exterior masks her bitter, mean nature. She has no love for her children, and abuses them in subtle, neglectful ways.
We don't actually see the abuse, we see the end result...which, in my opinion, is far more powerful. I cried for Willie at the end of this book, and cheered Mr. Tom for doing everything he could to save this poor boy. When children are old enough to understand the results of abuse, every family should read this book.
the birth and growing pains of affection between two strangers, joined by the bizarre circumstances of war. Eight-year-old Willie Beech is one of many London kids sent to the country for safety in the late 30's. Recognizing their children as the country's most precious assets, London parents reluctantly
sacrifice the presence of their offspring by entrusting them to the care of country folk. Paired with Tom Oakley, the crusty recluse who lives next door to the church, the lad arrives terrified of everything: the friendly dog, asking questions,
even of smiling. Expecting nothing, he dares not hope to be recognized as a human being.
Not that he has had anything to smile abobut in his miserable years alone with a mentally- disturbed, abusive mother. Mr. Tom, as the boy calls him, quickly realizes that the boy is in desperate need of healing: for his tortured body, his twisted mind and his lonely young heart. As the dour man cares for the sick child (malnutrition, bedwetting, nightmares) he develops an unspoken but deep fondess for the unloved and friendless boy. Compassion for Willie brings out Tom's long-buried tenderness. It takes many months for Willie's true self to emerge: good country air, tender care of his battered body, cultivation of his active mind, and the boon of natural socialization with his peers. Gradually sloughing off his urban shell of fear, Willie makes his first friends, learns to read and write, and then discovers his natural talent as an artist.
But these evacuees are only temporary residents of Little Weirwold; we realize that eventual separation and future heartbreak are inevitable. What happens when their rightful parents reclaim these kids?Read more ›
At first Willie is terrified of Mr. Tom, but gradually he learns to trust him. Eventually it is safe to return to London, but is it safe for Willie to return to his mother? Tom reluctantly allows Willie to return, but when Willie dosen't answer his letters Mr. Tom goes to find Willie.
A bit of caution with this title, the episodes of child abuse and neglect are rather strong, and may not be suitable for all ages...at least the abuse is not described in action, we just see the end result.
A great book to examine the relationship of family, and love. This book is a great book to read-aloud to your children and have a discussion...but you may want to read it first to see if your child is ready for this one.
And the story itself is incredible. "Good Night, Mr. Tom" tells of a young London boy who is sent out to live in the country during World War II for his safety. There, away from an abusive home, Willie is able to grow and learn what it means to be loved.
With a series of remarkably realistic and fun characters, Willie (renamed Will in his new home with "Mr. Tom") moves and grows. Aspects of the book will make the reader cry (quite a few), aspects will chill you, but on the whole you will smile through your tears, because this book is just... special. It's got a very special feel to it, through tears and sad moments.
So while at times the story gets dull, it's an excellent book. I would recommend this to young teens, mostly because it deals with serious issues and might be a bit much for younger kids.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Highly enjoyable book,in good condition.Received quite promptly.Will is a very shy,abused child,but begins to change almost immediately under the caring villagers. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ellen
A warm, feel good book about a solitary, lonely man and a young boy forming a mutually beneficial relationship.Published 1 month ago by Kathy Vennemeyer
This book is a tear jerker which needs to be read by every mother, father and teenager. I read it twice!Published 2 months ago by Ulandi Weyers
This is a good story and a fast read. It's listed as children's lit but it's not appropriate for children younger than high school. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Susan Garrison
I first read this book when I was 11 as part of my required reading at school; possibly too young for the emotional heaviness of the subject matter, but nevertheless I loved it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Fiona
Easily one of my all time favorite books from jr. high school. I loved it so much that I swiped a copy from my 7th grade English room's bookshelf. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Phoenician Insomniac
as good as or better than the movie. I enjoyed the book very much. I wish they would republish this book.Published 5 months ago by ollabarabolla