Synopses & Reviews
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.
"A small, timid refugee from wartime London--and from a sadistic mother--and a lonely villager who has reluctantly accepted the child form a bond of love and trust that is deeply touching. . . . a vivid cast for an English story with universal and timeless appeal."--IRA Children's Book Award Committee. ALA Notable Children's Book; 1982 ALA Best Books for Young Adults; 1983 "Horn Book" Fanfare Honor List; 1982 IRA Children's Book Award; "Booklist" 1982 Young Adult Editors' Choices.
About the Author
Michelle Magorian was born in Portsmouth, England, and grew up in such diverse places as Perth, Australia, and Singapore. She now makes her home in London.
An actress, dancer, and writer by profession, Ms. Magorian has worked with numerous touring and repertory companies, and spent two years training as a mime at Marcel Marceau's world-renowned L'Ecole Intenationale de Mime in Paris, France. An absorbing interest in the history and nature of children's books led her to try her hand at writing for younger readers. Good Night, Mr. Tom -- Which is her first book -- grew out of a short story she had written about the meeting of the two main characters. As Ms. Magorian explains, "I had to know what happened -- so I wrote the book."
Her other writing credits include a television play and poetry.