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‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ by Michelle Magorian

‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ is a wonderful book that is sure to bring a tear to the eye. Evacuated during World War Two, nervous and neglected Willie (William) is forced upon Tom Oakley, a grumpy widower with a frosty exterior. Through a series of heart-warming events, Tom and Willie form a strong bond, with Willie flourishing under the care and compassion of Tom, who in turn softens – much to the surprise of others in the community. When Willie is forced to return to war-torn London and finds himself in trouble, Tom is his saviour, ‘kidnapping’ Willie and returning him to the safety of the countryside. Compassion and Gratitude are key themes throughout the book which are demonstrated by many characters in many ways, not least by Tom who, as well as showing compassion for Willie, is undoubtedly grateful to the boy for the happiness he brings him. This book would be a perfect read for older primary school children/younger secondary pupils, and is especially relevant for those learning about life during World War Two. ​