Young Willie Beech is evacuated you keep country as Britain stands on the brink of the Second World War. A sad, deprived child, he’s 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.
Title: Goodnight Mister Tom
Author: Michelle Magorian
Publication Date: 1981
I’ve been seeing this book everywhere at school and I’ve never felt compelled to read it. Unfortunately I was not given a choice when I read it recently because my teacher had set t as holiday homework…with promise of a test on it…The story is as simple as the blurb puts it as, I don’t think I need to add anything. Oh and it’s also my first book of 2016!
Why is it that old men in literature always act like a grouch and a few chapters later, we see how soft and kind they really are? Willie is annoying, and perfect at everything he does. His mother has abused him from a young age and she’s obviously mentally ill. Zach, Willie’s closest friend is loud and confident. His other friends are all as boring as Willie. Zachary is probably the only one out of the kids that was written well, the other kids all seemed the same and was more of a background noise than anything. There’s quite a bit of character development in Willie and Tom.
The blurb summarises it perfectly. There’s no secret waiting to be uncovered, no added mysteries or suspense. It’s straightforward and the author clearly focused on character development.
Just the print of the book put me off. But I’m not here to talk about that. Unlike the majority of novels I’ve read, this book does not contain long, fancy, poetic descriptions of scenes and perfectly normal everyday things. The language of the characters are strange in the way that you read them exactly how they’re read and one word may have several different spellings depending on whom was speaking. The book is extremely boring to read until you get halfway into it, when all the characters have been introduced. I struggled to read this at the beginning and my only motivation was the prospect of not getting detention. Once I got halfway into the book, things started to pick up and I was lost in their world for the remainder of the book.
It’s a good children’s book but very young children may not be able to enjoy it fully. Persevere with it and things get a little more interesting after the halfway point. I don’t enjoy classics very much but I did end up quite liking this one.
Rating: 3.5 Stars – See my rating system.
Owned: Nope. Teacher handed out battered school copies.
Recommended for: Children aged 10+ and people that enjoy historical fiction.
My teacher read my review and was very butt-hurt by it since it wasn’t 5 Stars. (She cried.) I’m honest. I didn’t like this book that much. I’m gonna say so. Anyways, do you like historical fiction? I used to read a lot of it, but now I’ve sort of grown out of it.