Bookworm’s Favorites: Goodnight Mr. Tom

Good Night, Mr. Tom

Goodreads: London is poised on the brink of World War 11. Timid, scrawny Willie Beech — the abused child of a single mother — is evacuated to the English countryside. At first, he is terrified of everything, of the country sounds and sights, even of Mr. Tom, the gruff, kindly old man who has taken him in. But gradually Willie forgets the hate and despair of his past. He learns to love a world he never knew existed, a world of friendship and affection in which harsh words and daily beatings have no place. Then a telegram comes. Willie must return to his mother in London. When weeks pass by with no word from Willie, Mr. Tom sets out for London to look for the young boy he has come to love as a son.

Have you read Good Night Mr. Tom? This was one of my favorite books growing up; in fact, I found my copy in my parent’s attic, and it is worn, yellowed, and dusty.  First, the two main characters are very realistic as Mr. Tom is a cantankerous older man who doesn’t really want his lifestyle to change; however, the course of the novel shows his journey growing to love this young boy as his own grandson. Willie, who comes from basically the streets, is a nervous young boy who’s scared of everything.  While leaving London was necessary for children during the war, Willie was frightened of what that life would be life. The background of WWII and the bombing of London become a juxtaposition to the love and fellowship these two characters find.

I highly recommend this book for 9+ readers – especially if they’re interested in history or other countries.  Linked below is the trailer for the movie version, which I haven’t seen!


  1. Sounds like a book I would have enjoyed reading in my younger days. Going to recommend to my daughter who teaches 6th grade. Thanks for sharing on the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Cheryl, Hop Hostess

  2. Sounds fantastic! Something children can really learn from. I was in an Ernie Pyle history class (famous journalist who went to my alma mater), and we visited London where he had been during the bombings. It was surreal and scary. Anyway, thanks so much for linking into the KLBH!

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