Book Review: Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

I seem to have missed this one as a child. But it’s true what they say: it’s never too late.


Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian is the unforgettable story of young Willie Beech, evacuated to the country as Britain stands on the brink of the Second World War. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the unlikely care of grumpy old Tom Oakley. But then his new-found happiness is shattered by a summons from his mother to return to London. As the weeks pass by Tom begins to worry when William doesn’t answer his letters, so he goes to London to find him, and there makes a terrible discovery.

Goodnight Mister Tom book cover


This is one of the best historical fiction books I’ve ever read – across those intended for adults and for children. The depth of Goodnight Mister Tom spreads beyond all ages. On the surface, it’s a nice story which is a lesson on history, plus a warm tale, for children. Dig deeper and you will find complex relationships, a darker plot, and a stark contrast between different types of humanity, which will capture the attention of adults.

What we often forget about the world is that it offers different kinds of love. We concentrate on the love between a married couple or a parent and child. Goodnight Mister Tom highlights love formed through friendships, through unbreakable bonus formed by people who don’t share the same DNA.

This book made me laugh and cry, smile and frown. I would have loved the story as a child, but I’m glad it didn’t pass me on on my adult years, too.

Pick up your copy of Goodnight Mister Tom here.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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