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Goodnight Mister Tom Paperback – 12 Sep 2003
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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
Young Willie Beech is evacuated to the country as Britain stands on the brink of WW2. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of old Tom Oakley - but his new-found happiness is shattered by a summons from his mother back in London...This title is winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Award.See all Product description
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I was about 6 yrs old in 1944 and all I ever knew was War and its implications ( to a child it seemed a normal way of life as I knew no other ! )
The German bombers passed over us all the time on their way to bomb the industrial Midlands and when the air raid siren sounded I was hustled out of a deep childs sleep and into a shelter night after night . Of course I did not understand it all and it appeared quite normal .
BUT.........for reasons beyond me I am glad I was around at that time , for it was a time of unity for all and this only happens when everyone is in the same boat .
Although I was small I remember VERY WELL some of the stories that happened during that time in my life , very very clearly , you don't forget stuff like that ever ..... Oh and as a point of lighter relief the scene where the young lad was learning to ride a bike was something I related to entirely.
I was quite a bit younger than our movie hero and my father was in the Navy fighting for freedom , so my mother tried to help me ride this little old bike she had managed to buy second hand . One day she let me go with a push and bingo I rode a way before falling off , but very happy never the less. For the next several hours I rode around the village falling off numerous times with arms and legs well blooded , but I didn't card I could ride.
I have many little stories I could tell , but do not think many people would find them of interest.
The film is very well acted and took me back a lifetime with its content . I liked it very much , I hope you do . I rate it five stars and highly recommend it .
R.F.W. SoCal .
In fact, we eventually got it going with subtitles on as was worried it might revert to audio description if we tried to remove the subtitles!
Played fine though. It is a good film though not nearly as good as the book. Really disappointed zach doesn't say 'whizzo' once in the film!
Many scenes missed from the film. The relationship between mr tom and willie is preserved but the relationship between zach and willie suffers from the scene cutting. Still a worthwhile watch
Back at the cottage Willie was sitting in front of the fire, Tom picked up the poker to stoke the fire, Willie thought it was meant for him and fainted, when Willie came round they went to the village where Tom spoke to Mrs Fletcher, she knitted and Tom asked if she could make Willie a jumper, they carried on to a farm to order extra milk, Willie was scared he had never seen a cow, they were both soaked by rain on the way home, Tom looked in Willie's bag for any night clothes, he found a note from his mother saying Tom had to beat Willie if he was bad and sent a buckled belt to do it with, Tom was furious and threw it out of the window, Willie was asked to take off his clothes
Tom found Willie's underpants wee stitched to his vest and he had to cut them off, Tom dried him off seeing the scars and bruises all over his body, taking Willie up to bed Willie tried to sleep under the bed, he had never slept in a bed before, next morning Will was terrified he had wet the bed, Tom made no fuss and stripped and washed Will, Tom asked Will to write a postcard to his mother and it was then that Tom realised that Will couldn't read or write, that day Will made friends with another evacuee, Zach a Jewish boy, Tom and Will went to town where he was bought new clothes and art stuff, he also had pyjamas to wear to bed although he wet again the following day, this time though Tom had put a rubber sheet on, war was declared
Everybody now were putting up their Anderson shelters, the story continues as Will slowly starts to love his new life in the country and Tom the man who is caring for him, Tom helps to teach Will to read and write and continue his art and realizes that he is very good, Will has his first Birthday party with presents, most evacuees go home because the government asks for parents to pay money to help with the expense, only a few are left with Will and Zach, Will has his first dry night, Will's mother wants him back and he is sent back to London during the Blitz, his mother doesn't recognize him, she accuses him of stealing all his belongings and clothes and Will finds a baby sister with tape over her mouth to stop her crying, Will is badly beaten
Many weeks pass and Tom has heard nothing, he decides to go to London, you will now have to read on to see what has happened to Will and if Tom is in time to save him
Excellent book, if you have seen the Tv film with John Thaw ( which was very well cast and acted ) you must still read the book, there are many differences, worth a read
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she is aged 10yrs
It made me cry.