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on 29 November 2017
Great Movie ! I was raised in an English Village as a small child during WW 2 and can relate to many things in this film ......
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 .
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on 12 April 2017
Bought this for my 10 year old son as a Christmas present(2016). He started reading it just before Easter (2017) as he was studying WW2 in school. He really enjoyed the story and asked quite a lot of questions related to that time and story. He did say that it was one of his favourite stories and would read it again. Def a firm favourite
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on 18 August 2017
A Review for Teachers

It's not often that a book moves me to tears, but this is one of the exceptions. It tells the story of Willie Beech, a young boy who is evacuated to the countryside and into Tom Oakley's house. Tom's brusque manner alarms Willie at first and he's terrified that he'll be punished for simply existing. However, he soon realises that he can make friends and that he can be loved by the adults in his life. Nevertheless, his mother's hold is still strong and he soon leaves behind his happy life in the countryside when he is summoned to London.

This book is hard-to-read (emotionally) at times and Magorian covers topics that can be challenging to discuss with a Y6 class, but don't be put off. The story is so moving, so intriguing and so beautifully written that it will be a travesty if you don't share it with them. Prepare yourself for questions and plan time to answer them, be it through circle time or extended guided reading.

Willie is so timid, so frightened at the start of the story that you can't help but feel sympathy for his plight. I love the change in the character of 'Mister Tom' too - the character arc is so wonderfully written and he becomes so attached to Will that it warms you down to your toes. Their relationship is the glue that keeps your emotions together - most of the time, anyway.

The book is a perfect addition to a topic on WW2, but be mindful of its tough storyline. It isn't one to tackle lightly, so read it yourself before you read it with your class. It's a wonderful story and one that will stick with you long after you close the cover.
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on 14 June 2017
I read book "Goodnight Mr Tom" only recently. Being an avid reader where has it been all my life. I just loved it. I laughed and cried all at the same time. The book is so well written if you close your eyes you can picture the scenes being described, Then I purchased the Bluray DVD version of the movie. Again just outstanding. But its a pity the movie was not hours longer as many parts of the book are not included in the movie. But what is included is true to the book. I cannot tell you about the picture quality or sound in this version of the movie as I was so involved in the story I didn't pay much attention to those aspects of the DVD. I wont go into what the story is about as other reviewers have done that. John Thaw is excellent as Mr Tom and the rest of the cast do a great job. This is a must see movie and deserves all the 5 star reviews. Also I would recommend reading the book to get the bits missed in the movie. Both are just outstanding.
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on 30 May 2017
Dvd seemed to be 'locked onto' audio description when trying to play the disc for the first time and it was really difficult to get it to play normally.

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
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on 6 January 2016
A billeting officer stood at Mr Tom's door with a small boy at her side, the boy was to go with a family near a church and it should be a religious family, a cardboard label round his neck gave his name as William Beech, Tom was in his sixties and told the boy to come in, he gave the boy something to eat and drink and said he had to go out for a while and suggested Willie look around, Willie knew he was a bad boy his mother had told him so, he met Mrs Hartridge his new teacher in the graveyard and said he was 8yrs old, a dog ran up to him, Willie was terrified he was going to hit it with a large stick when Tom appeared and took the stick from him, Willie covered his head waiting for the beating that never came

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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on 7 August 2015
“Takes yer time, everything in its own time.”

I absolutely love this book. I read it years and years ago when I was a child and saw the t.v production but I couldn’t remember it properly so I thought it was high time I re- read it. And it didn’t disappoint.

“Better to accept than pretend that he never existed.”

The story follows Willie a London evacuee who stays with a grumpy old man called Tom in the little village of little Wierwold. Willie is very quiet and fearful of everything, his mother thought of him more of a nuisance than anything else. Tom turns out to not be quite so grumpy as he first seems and over time Tom and Willie heal each other.

“I’d rather be happy and odd than miserable and ordinary,’ she said, sticking her chin in the air.”
― Michelle Magorian, Good Night, Mr. Tom

There are some brilliant characters along the way with the tragic but brilliant Zach and various kind hearted villagers that don’t fail to make you smile when reading. There are so many heart warming moments as well as a few tragic ones you will struggle to put this little book down.

“It occurred to him that strength was quite different from toughness and that being vulnerable wasn’t quite the same as being weak.”
― Michelle Magorian, Goodnight Mister Tom

If you have not read this book then what are you doing!!! You won’t regret it. I give this book five out of five stars.
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on 5 November 2015
I have always liked John Thaw's acting but in this drama is exceeds to a great height in his career, I enjoyed it the first time I saw it in television that when the DVD came out I had to have it, the story is of a young boy from London who is sent away to the country to get away from the German bombs and how a man who lives on his own has to deal with this boy when he is a signed to look after the boys welfare. The drama also stars the talented and sexy Annabelle Apsion, who is best known for playing Monica Gallagher in the hit television comedy-drama Shameless. One of the most beautiful, moving, thought provoking film worth having in your collection you will not be disappointed.
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on 20 January 2014
This is a film I had never seen until my daughter (10) watched it at school and subsequently wanted it for Christmas. Having seen it now I can see why she likes it so much.

It's a film about a wartime evacuee, a young boy, who is sent out into the country for his own safety to live with a widower. The film covers their at first difficult relationship and eventual friendship but then, after the boy has to go back to London, it moves on to cover the old man's search for the boy in London, just to know that he is ok.

The acting, as you'd expect from John Thaw, is excellent as it is by the young boy, Nick Robinson, and the change in them and their relationship throughout the film is great to watch. The film is has both sad and happy moments but that leads to a wonderful film.
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on 3 May 2015
Somehow I missed this one growing up. Never mind - it was just as good as an adult. This is the story of eight-year-old Willie, evacuated from London before World War II and consequently away from his abusive mother. He is given into the care of Thomas Oakley, a loner who has been widowed for 40 years. Crabby, brusque Tom soon turns out to be kind under his forbidding exterior, while Willie is not the sickly weakling he seems at first sight.
The real magic of this story is that it manages to be gritty, gut wrenching, funny, poignant and heart warming all at the same time. It is a really sweet story but it never crosses the line into saccharine or sentimental. Add in the tangible sense of place and the fascinating interaction of character relationships, and this book has everything. While some of the storytelling mechanisms my seem a little out of date to those who would notice such things, this isn't a book that will age badly. On the contrary I can see why it's been hailed as a modern classic. I highly recommend this for children aged seven and up and to any adults who missed it when growing up, as I did.
I can tell I'll be reading this one again.
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