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4.8 out of 5 stars612
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 30 December 2002
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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on 6 March 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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on 8 January 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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on 15 February 2009
The book is set at the start of the Second World War. A young boy named Willie Beech is evacuated to the country, and is placed with an old man called Tom Oakley, whom he calls Mister Tom. At first, Tom does not want the boy, but he comes to love him as Willie helps Tom to come to terms with the deaths of his wife and child more than 20 years ago. At the same time Willie, who was a sad, withdrawn child at the beginning of the book, slowly comes out of his shell; however, he receives a letter from his abusive, schizophrenic mother, who wants him to return to London immediately.........

I first came across this book in my fifth year of primary school (aged 10), when my teacher chose to read it to us. I am so glad that she did, as it is an amazing book which I have read again and again over the course of 12 1/2 years, and I am still not tired of reading it.
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This is a must read and also must purchase/watch DVD (starring John Thaw as Mr. Tom).

When young Willie Beech is evacuated to the country when the war starts he finds he is to be billeted with the rather curmudgeonly Widower, Mr. Tom Oakley. However, an odd and rather touching relationship develops between them and soon the frightened, beaten and malnourished little boy starts to come out of his shell and make friends with Mr. Tom and the children in the village.

The author paints an idyllic picture of country life before the war and just after it started. Everything is decribed in great detail right from the clothes the children wore, to the trees, the house in which Willie lives with Tom and to the school he attends. No description of anything is stilted and you actually start to feel that you are living in the cottage with Mr. Tom and Willie or Will as he prefers to be called. Mr. Tom as he is known by to Will, quickly finds out the little boy likes drawing and starts to encourage him by buying him some painting materials. Poor Will is overcome with emotion as it seems that no-one has ever been nice to him before.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable book and it made me wish for times gone by when you could run around outside on your own for hours on end without the worry of being molested. Every villager would look out for any child at any given time.

The book also made me cry in two places but to give away what places would spoil the pleasure for other readers. There is every emotion in this book from sadness to happiness to resignation, to fear and all extremely well written. Suffice to say, this has to be a classic and will be enjoyed by generations of children and adults alike.
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on 31 August 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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on 28 August 2010
I love this story. I've played the CD so many times that I nearly know the whole story word by word. This is both a sad and a happy tale about a poor London boy evacuated to live with and elderly man (Mr. Tom) in the country. Thank goodnes Mr. Tom is an inately sensible, practicl man and stands up against beaurocracy. Luckily the ending is happy!
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on 23 March 2001
Goodnight Mister Tom is a marvellous book with a story about a young boy who gets evacuated to the country to live with a very quiet man. After a while Will, (the little boy) starts to make friends and finds hidden talents he never knew he had. While will enjoys his time with Mr (Tom) Oakley, Mr Tom himself gets his life back. When Will gets a letter from his mother telling him to go back to her, he and Tom are very upset and know that they will miss each other... This book is a brilliant book and I couldn't find one boring part.
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on 25 April 2005
This book is about a boy called Willie. He is an evacuee in world war 2. He has to go and stay with Tom Oakley, who lives in the countryside. At first they don't get on, because Tom does not want an evacuee staying with him. Willie is scared of Tom because his mother beats him, therefore he is weary of any adult.
Over the months they grow to become friends. All is well until Willie has to go home to his mother, who he knows, will continue to beat him. Tom is also aware of this and does not want him to go.
The book has a very moving and emotional ending. Read this book to find out what happens when Willie finally returns home.
I read this book when I was I Year 7 (11 years old) and I thought it was very appropriate for my age group.
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on 18 November 2007
I first read this book when I was younger. To this day I always come back to this powerful story. When I first started reading this story, I did not know how I would react to this story. Mister Tom at first appears to be standoffish. When the young boy Willie Beech arrives we slowly see his heart appearing. This book made me cry with laughter and cry with all the feelings you feel for Mister Tom and young Willie. I loved everything about this story telling. If you have not got a copy, then you are really missing out from a great author who is so realistic in her story's. So what are you waiting for. Buy this fantastic book today. You will not be disappointed. I give this book in my opinion 20/20. It's that great.
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