Goodnight, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 16, 2009
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Can you imagine what life would be like if your mother beat you daily, tied you up, and strangled you? Well, that is what Willie Beech, a young boy in Goodnight, Mr. Tom, endures. This book by Michelle Magorian takes place during World War II, when many children in London are relocated to rural areas for safety reasons. These children end up living with families who are total strangers. Because his mother wants him to live near a church, Willie is paired with an irritable and lonely man named Mr. Tom. Willie feels timid and awkward around Mr. Tom at the beginning, but as the book progresses the two develop a close friendship that climaxes when Tom adopts Willie as his own son.

Even though the plot in Goodnight, Mr. Tom starts slowly and the characters’ accents are confusing at times, it turns out to be a fast-moving, heart-warming story of the love and compassion between Mr. Tom and Willie. Magorian conveys the message that parents need to give their children roots and wings. Tom lovingly cares for Willie and provides him a safe and comfortable house, hot meals, and new clothes. At the same time, he loosens the leash when he lets Willie play with Zach and the twins, take art lessons, and race the dog Sammy through the fields. Despite all of the hardship he has experienced, Willie quickly settles into the comfort and security of his new “family.”

I would recommend this book to readers of all ages. The plot is realistic and complex, and generates a big swing of emotions. I was cheerful when Willie was first learning how to read and painting an exceptional new picture. I was heartbroken and even angry when Willie got beaten by his mother, and when he was almost sent to a mental home. Goodnight, Mr. Tom teaches you to fight through your problems and enjoy the little moments in life.

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback