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Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian - Book Review

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Published February 21st 2013
For bed-wetters and war-haters
book cover
Goodnight Mister Tom book cover, showing the adorable Will


Thrown together in the early days of the Second World War, the unlikely friendship between undernourished William and his new guardian Mister Tom is a beautiful story that gradually unfolds, showing us the histories of these two characters as they build a life together. Old Tom Oakley is a gruff, pragmatic man of habit, generally reclusive but with an instinct for what his young charge needs. Scared, skinny Will develops a knack for schoolwork and a talent for drawing, gaining his first true friends and his first chance at happiness. But just as his future is beginning to unfold he is recalled to London, and to the sadness of a life he thought he had left behind...

Goodnight Mister Tom is a wartime story, but more than that it is the story of childhood, survival, friendship and unlikely love. I enjoyed this book for its authenticity of character depictions, and the vivacity of William's energetic (if slightly melodramatic) best friend Zachary. The village of Little Weirwold lives up to its crooked name, hosting a variety of colourful, believable characters.

Although highly awarded, not nearly enough fuss has been made about this book, an easy read and the perfect gift for any reader, whether beginner or full-time bibliophile. Published in 1981, there is also a movie adaptation - but definitely check out the book first.
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Why? A war story about the people, not the war
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