#MGTakesOnThursday – Goodnight Mister Tom

Mary over at Book Craic has started a really exciting new meme #MGTakesOnThursday.

To join in, all you need to do is:

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence.
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

This week, I finished the audiobook of one of my favourite childhood books. I’ve reread it once or twice since then and it never fails to hit me hard.

There’s so much to love about this book, but mostly I love how unflinching it is – we’re not spared some pretty tough truths from Will’s homelife, nothing is sugar-coated and it is hard to read at times; I love its bittersweet ending and I love that it doesn’t patronise or hide things from its young audience.

Set during World War Two, Willy is an evacuee and we see him blossom under ‘Mister Tom’s care after what we gradually come to see has been a hard start in life.

A little like when I reread When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, there was much that affected me as an adult that probably didn’t have the same impact when I was younger too.

While nothing is hidden from younger readers, nothing is dwelt on either; as a child I understood in a fairly abstract way what had happened, but as an adult it broke me.

As well as William’s story, we get the historical backdrop of the war as well as a real contrast between city and country, with a really nostalgic feel of rural village life.

My favourite line from page 11:

” ‘Bye, miss, missis,’ he whispered.”

In three words?

Historical. Heart-breaking. Hopeful.

Have you read this?

Are you taking part in #MGTakesOnThursday?

8 thoughts on “#MGTakesOnThursday – Goodnight Mister Tom

Add yours

  1. OMG I LOVE this book. I remember the first time I read it – I was an NQT teaching in Year 6 many years ago and this was our teaching text. This book is a testament to the power of middle-grade to affect a reader – such a powerful story that I don’t think I’ll ever forget!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I often despair at the way the sane topics and texts (Florence nightingale, Great Fire – I’m looking squarely at you!) are still being used today as when I was in primary school 25 years ago! But with this I think it only goes to show how strong a book it is and how well it has stood the test of time. And yes, it really does stay with you. Even though I’d read it before, I had all the sane emotions this time and it’s still lingering with me now, over a week later.

      Liked by 1 person

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