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Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Majorian

Beautiful But Heart Breaking

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian is a heart breaking but beautiful children’s historical novel set during World War II.

William, a tiny scrap of a boy, is evacuated to the country to stay with Mr Tom, an older man who has kept his own company since his wife and son died years earlier. Both are broken souls in need of love and care.

Mr Tom’s heart is softened by William whose spirit has been broken, along with his body, by his mum. “He was such a bad boy, he knew that… She [Mum] only gave him soft beatings.” William has grown to expect cruelty from everyone. He believes he deserves it. The reader’s heart breaks. His mother has brought William up on a twisted form of religion. “Mum told him that whenever he was good she liked him but when he was bad, she didn’t. Neither did God … It was very lonely being bad.”

It is heart breaking to see the shell of a boy who believes he is bad. It is beautiful to watch him bud and blossom under the love and care of Mr Tom. Together, as their lives open up, they begin to let others in. The whole village is blessed by knowing them.

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