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Goodnight Mister Tom [Paperback]

Michelle Magorian
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (373 customer reviews)
RRP: 5.99
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Book Description

12 Sep 2003

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award.

Mum said war was a punishment from God for people's sins, so he'd better watch out. She didn't tell him what to watch out for, though.

When the Second World War breaks out, young Willie Beech is evacuated to the countryside. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of kind old Tom Oakley. But then his cruel mother summons him back to war-torn London . . .

Will he ever see Mister Tom again?

'Everyone's idea of a smash-hit first novel: full-blown characters to love and hate, moments of grief and joy, and a marvellous story that knows just how to grab the emotions' Guardian

Michelle Magorian was born in Portsmouth and on leaving school studied at the Rose Bruford College of speech and Drama and Marcel Marceau's International School of Mime in Paris. Over the years she became interested in children's books and decided to write one herself. The result was Goodnight Mister Tom, which won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award, an International Reading Association Award and was also made into a much-loved film, starring the late John Thaw.

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Goodnight Mister Tom + Carrie's War (A Puffin Book) + The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Vintage Children's Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; 1st Puffin Edition edition (12 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140315411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140315417
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 12.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (373 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michelle was born in 1947 in Portsmouth, Hampshire of a Welsh mother and Irish father with an Armenian Surname! Michelle Spent her toddler years in Singapore and two-and-a-half years (aged 7-9) in Australia. In between times, up to the age of eighteen, she lived in Portsmouth.

She was educated at Kilbreda college, Mentone (Victoria, Australia) and the Covent of the Cross, Waterlooville, Hampshire.

Michelle trained for the theatre at The Rose Bruford College of speech and drama in Kent from 1968to 1969. It was while there that she started writing regulary.

From 1969-1970 she was a mime student at Marcel Marceau's L'Ecole International de Mime in Paris. Since then Michelle has worked in theatre, television and films and has an established reputation as a comedienne, performing in plays and musicals. Michelle also toured with her one woman mime show in Italy and England.

Michelle's first novel Goodnight Mister Tom grew out of two short stories. She wrote the book in between acting jobs and on Sunday when she was working in the theatre. Goodnight Mister Tom was first published in the UK in 1981 it has won numerous awards including the Guardian Children's Fiction Award (for full list of awards please see Bibliography). The book has sold in excess of 1.2 MILLION copies in the UK alone and has been published in Denmark, USA, Japan, Holland, Sweden, Finland, France and Germany. The 1998 BAFTA award-winning TV film of the book starring John Thaw attracted 14 MILLION viewers.

Just Henry is Michelle's first novel in over 10 years. In this gripping mystery-thriller, the story of a boy struggling to understand his identity, is beautifully woven with a vivid picture of the social prejudices, culture and atmosphere of late 1940s Britain.
Since publishing in May 2008 it has won the Children's Book category for the Costa Book Award, shortlisted for the Lancashire Children's book award, shortlisted for the Essex Children's Book award and nominated for the Carnegie Medal.

Product Description

Amazon Review

The gruff and surly Mr Thomas Oakley is less than pleased when he is landed with a scrawny little city boy as a guest, but because it is compulsory that each villager takes in an evacuee he reluctantly agrees. It soon becomes obvious to Mister Tom that young Willie Beech is hiding something, and as the pair begin to form an unlikely bond and Willie grows in stature and in confidence he begins to forget the past. But when he has to return to war-torn London to face his mother again he retreats into his shy and awkward ways once more.

Goodnight Mister Tom is one of the most touching and powerful stories ever written. As the relationship between Willie and Tom begins to transform them both, Magorian's powerful yet gentle writing tugs at the heart, taking the reader on an incredibly emotional journey that never once stoops to unnecessary sentimentality. --Susan Harrison


'A marvellous story that knows just how to grab the emotions' - The Guardian --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodnight Mr Tom - a book for life?! 30 Dec 2002
Format:Library Binding
I HAD to write a review on here.
I first read this book when I was about 10 and, 20 years later, still have the tatty copy which was once so shiny and new.
In all my years, in all the books I have read, I have never read a childrens book as powerful as this. Magorian draws from the reader a depth of emotions from joy through to utter despair as she takes you on the journey of two people saving each other from their hellish loneliness.
If you saw the film and are looking at this review thinking "maybe, I'll get it", stop thinking and go for it!
If you hated the film... well... what can I say? I hated it too which broke my heart as I was expecting a film as strong as the book.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Goodnight Mr Tom review 8 Jan 2007
As a twelve year old I can highly recommend this book to another reader my age. The author really makes you feel for the characters. It is an emotional story that has you gripping to every page. It is suitable for both boys and girls. The story is about the relationships in William Beech's life. How it develops with Mr Tom and how it is created between his new friends in the country. But when he receives a letter from his mother, William's new fantasy world created by Mr Tom was all about to change. A classic story with a twist.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for use in school 18 Jan 2000
By A Customer
As a teacher of 9 - 11 year olds I highly recommend that you read this text. I use it when we are studying Britain since the 1930's. The book is far better than the film, although I loved the film!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mister Tom kept me awake! 31 Aug 2009
I purchased this book for my 15 year old Daughter as part of her course work for History O level (lowers here in Scotland). I had never read this before and she finished the book within 2 days, I picked up it up one Sunday and to my astonishment read it from cover to cover through the Sunday night unable to put it down. An excellent book so different to what I have been reading in recent years, a charming story that pulled the hearstrings and allowed me the luxury of being two characters at the same time, To anyone who has not read this yet, you must!
the writing is only mildly aged in a different era, but the gritty realism of the circumstances and sub plots are more than enough to keep you moving toward the end, when finished I was left wondering what next as there are more stories to imagine. An excellent little tome and well worth keeping as reminder of a very troubled times, I am ensuring my teenagers read this, it may make them see their current circumstances in a new light.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is one of the best books I have ever read. It made me feel happy and sad and I really felt as if I could understand the characters feelings. There was a lot of expression and description in this book which led the reader furthur into the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would tell everyone to read and enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodnight Mister Tom! 16 Mar 2012
By Hatch
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After seeing the film many times it became one of my favourites, so I bought the book. I am not a reader, but read this in 6 days. It is absolutely brilliant and SO much better than the film. I know they have to condense a film when taken from a book but couldn't beleive how MUCH they changed the storylines when making it! The book had me completely hooked and I would definately advise fans of the film to read it. I didn't want to say 'Goodnight Mister Tom', I wanted it to keep going until William had grown up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming and Heartwrenching 6 Mar 2012
I defy anyone to not be moved by this beautiful story. I first read this in year 5 and it was read out bit by bit in class and i just couldnt wait to get to the end and immediately bought my own copy. That was longer ago then i care to admit and ive read it again and again and still find myself on the verge of tears every time.
From the unforgettable characters to the wonderfully English setting and not forgetting Sam the dog this story takes you from desperately sad to dizzying heights of happiness and back again before the unforgettable ending that will stay with you long after you've closed the book.
Can't recommend this book enough.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Tom is not amused when he is first dumped with a little boy aged 8 because of the 2nd world war but secretly finds out much more then he intended to find out about him. He is suspious of that Willie, the young boy is being abused and that the rumous of the City children are the opposites of Willie's character. Willie is not an average child because he can't write and had never the chance to learn and also he is treated as though he was a devil. He's mother has poisoned him with untrue things like, the reason he has to slepp under his mother's bed is because he would die. this is why he was so frightened of sleeping in the bed at Mr Tom's house as he calls him. Willie learns a whole new experience living with Mr Tom, infact he learns to love Tom and to love squirrels and dogs that he's never seen! Tom gets the letter from Willie's mum and is angry because it says he should beat him with the belt if he's bad which then he realizes were Willie's bruises had come from. Willie is upset and feels sick because of all the good things he has been eating. When he gose to the doctors he is very scared because his mother told him that they were bad people which is probably why he was so scared. Willie envys children who can read and longs to paint, and when he gose shopping with Tom he is very very supprised that Tom buys him a comic and some sweets... and lets him choose which ones. according to Willie he has never been asked to choose a comic or even a sweet in his whole life. This shows how mean his mother is infact it makes me really lucky when i think whole many comics and sweets i've had and thought nothing of them. The Way the athor has put it i bet he'll treasure that comic till he dies! Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent quality and speedy delivery
Published 10 days ago by Poppy10
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really enjoyed this book.
Published 10 days ago by B. M. Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
My all time favourite book.
Published 12 days ago by pauline
5.0 out of 5 stars a favorite
Brilliant book more detailed than the paperback version A moving account of some of the experiences of the evacuee children in world war 2
Published 13 days ago by Veronica Wilkie
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional!
Fantastic book. Loved reading this with my 10 year old son - it appealed to us both equally, 'tho may've only been me who cried!
Published 19 days ago by AMids
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
Awesome I loved it more or less this book has taken my time just love it heartbreak and sadness wow
Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving!
Most moving and heart-warming. It shows what human need can bring out in the human heart, and what human love can do to transform both parties. Must read.
Published 22 days ago by Byletts
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Lovely book as a present for a child would buy again
Published 1 month ago by ron wilcock
4.0 out of 5 stars Goodnight Mr Tom
Great book. You start feeling quite sorry for William Beech though. I think it is a very sad book. And there should be a better ending to the story. But otherwise, it'a great book.
Published 1 month ago by Michael Fleming
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
I hadn't read Goodnight Mister Tom for ten years, since I was at school and I love it just as much as I did then. Such a heart warming read. I loved every single page.
Published 1 month ago by Amy Bennett
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