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Download Goodnight Mr Tom Pdf for Free: A Historical Novel by Michelle Magorian

Goodnight Mr Tom Pdf Download Free: A Guide for Readers

If you are looking for a heartwarming and captivating historical novel, you might want to check out Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian. This book tells the story of a young evacuee and his unlikely friendship with an old recluse during World War II. In this article, we will give you a brief overview of the book, explain why you should read it, and show you how you can download Goodnight Mr Tom pdf for free.

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What is Goodnight Mr Tom?

Goodnight Mr Tom is a children's novel that was first published in 1981. It is set in England during the Second World War, when many children were evacuated from the cities to the countryside to escape the bombing raids. The book follows the life of William Beech, a shy and abused boy who is sent to live with Tom Oakley, a grumpy and solitary widower in a small village. As they get to know each other, they develop a bond that changes both of their lives for the better.

A brief summary of the plot

The book begins with Willie arriving at Tom's cottage, carrying only a small bag and a cardboard label with his name on it. He is scared and nervous, as he has never left his home before and has been mistreated by his religious fanatic mother. Tom is reluctant to take him in at first, but he soon softens up and starts to care for him. He teaches him how to read and write, how to ride a bike, how to play with other children, and how to enjoy life. He also helps him overcome his fears and nightmares, and heals his wounds both physical and emotional.

Willie gradually adapts to his new environment and makes friends with other evacuees and villagers. He also discovers his talent for drawing and painting, which impresses his teacher and earns him a scholarship to a prestigious art school. He becomes more confident and happy, and starts to call Tom "Dad". However, his happiness is shattered when he receives a letter from his mother, who demands him to return home immediately. Tom reluctantly lets him go, hoping that his mother has changed for the better.

When Willie arrives at his old home in London, he finds out that his mother has given birth to a baby girl and has gone insane. She locks him up in a closet, beats him, starves him, and tries to kill him and the baby. Willie manages to write a note to Tom, asking for help. Tom receives the note and rushes to London with his dog Sammy. He rescues Willie and the baby from their mother, who commits suicide by hanging herself. He then takes them back to the village, where they are welcomed by their friends. Willie recovers from his ordeal with Tom's love and support, and decides to adopt the baby girl as his sister. He also decides to stay with Tom permanently, as they have become a family.

The main characters and themes

The book has two main characters: Willie Beech and Tom Oakley. Willie is a nine-year-old boy who has suffered from abuse and neglect by his mother. He is timid, illiterate, malnourished, and traumatized. He has a vivid imagination and a gift for drawing. He is also kind, polite, and eager to learn. He grows and matures throughout the book, as he experiences love, friendship, and happiness for the first time in his life.

Tom Oakley is a sixty-year-old man who lives alone in a cottage near the church. He is a widower who lost his wife and son to scarlet fever forty years ago. He is gruff, antisocial, and cynical. He has a soft spot for animals, especially his dog Sammy. He changes and softens throughout the book, as he opens his heart to Willie and becomes a father figure to him. He also reconnects with the community and rediscovers his joy of life.

The book explores several themes, such as the effects of war, abuse, and trauma on children; the power of love, friendship, and healing; the contrast between city and country life; the value of education and art; and the meaning of family and home.

The author and the historical context

The author of Goodnight Mr Tom is Michelle Magorian, a British writer and actress. She was born in 1947 in Portsmouth, England. She grew up in a family that loved literature, music, and theater. She studied at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, and later at Marcel Marceau's L'école Internationale de Mime in Paris. She worked as an actress in theater, television, and film for several years, before turning to writing.

She wrote Goodnight Mr Tom as her first novel, inspired by her own mother's stories of being an evacuee during World War II. She spent two years researching the historical background of the book, visiting museums, libraries, archives, and interviewing people who lived through the war. She also drew from her own experiences of living in a village and being involved in amateur dramatics.

The book was published in 1981 by Kestrel Books, after being rejected by several publishers who thought it was too dark and realistic for children. It received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the International Reading Association Award. It has been translated into many languages and adapted into a stage play, a musical, a radio drama, and a television film.

Why should you read Goodnight Mr Tom?

Goodnight Mr Tom is a book that will touch your heart and make you cry, laugh, and smile. It is a book that will teach you about history, humanity, and yourself. Here are some reasons why you should read it:

The benefits of reading historical fiction

Historical fiction is a genre that combines factual elements with fictional ones to create a realistic and engaging story. Reading historical fiction can help you learn about different periods of time, places, cultures, events, and people. It can also help you develop your critical thinking skills, as you compare and contrast the past and the present, and analyze the sources and perspectives of the author.

Goodnight Mr Tom is a historical fiction book that will give you a glimpse into the life of Britain during World War II. You will learn about the evacuation of children from the cities to the countryside; the Blitz; the rationing; the blackouts; the air raids; the propaganda; the Home Guard; the Land Girls; the war effort; and more. You will also learn about the social norms, values, attitudes, beliefs, customs, traditions, language, and humor of that era.

The emotional impact and message of the story

The awards and recognition of the book

Goodnight Mr Tom is a book that has received many awards and recognition from critics and readers alike. Some of the awards it has won are:

  • The Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 1981, which is a prestigious award given by a panel of British children's writers to the best children's book of the year.

  • The International Reading Association Award in 1982, which is an award given by a global network of literacy professionals to books that promote reading and literacy.

  • The West Australian Young Readers Book Award in 1983, which is an award given by young readers in Western Australia to their favorite books.

  • The South Carolina Young Adult Book Award in 1984, which is an award given by young adults in South Carolina to books that appeal to them.

  • The Big Read in 2003, which was a survey conducted by the BBC to find the nation's best-loved books. Goodnight Mr Tom ranked at #49 out of 200 books.

  • The Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment in 2013, which was given to the stage adaptation of Goodnight Mr Tom by David Wood.

Goodnight Mr Tom has also been praised by many reviewers and critics for its realistic and moving portrayal of the war, its memorable and relatable characters, its powerful and uplifting message, and its beautiful and engaging writing style.

How can you download Goodnight Mr Tom for free?

If you are interested in reading Goodnight Mr Tom, you might be wondering how you can download it for free. There are several ways to do so, but not all of them are legal or ethical. In this section, we will discuss the pros and cons of downloading books for free, and give you some tips on how to find free pdfs of Goodnight Mr Tom.

The legal and ethical issues of downloading books for free

Downloading books for free might seem like a convenient and cost-effective way to access literature, but it also comes with some legal and ethical issues. First of all, downloading books for free without the author's permission or paying for them is considered piracy, which is a form of theft and a violation of intellectual property rights. Piracy can have negative consequences for both the authors and the publishers, as they lose revenue and royalties from their work. This can affect their ability to produce more books and support themselves and their families. Piracy can also harm the quality and diversity of literature, as it discourages authors from writing and publishing new and original works.

Secondly, downloading books for free from untrustworthy sources can expose you to malware, viruses, spyware, and other harmful software that can damage your device or compromise your personal information. Some websites that offer free downloads might also contain inappropriate or illegal content that can offend or harm you or others. Therefore, you should be careful and cautious when downloading books for free online.

The best websites and platforms to find free pdfs of Goodnight Mr Tom

If you still want to download Goodnight Mr Tom for free, you should look for websites and platforms that offer legal and safe downloads. These are usually websites that have permission from the authors or publishers to distribute their books for free, or websites that offer books that are in the public domain or have a Creative Commons license. Some examples of such websites are:

  • Freeditorial: This is a website that offers free downloads of thousands of books in various genres and languages. You can find Goodnight Mr Tom here:

  • Internet Archive: This is a website that preserves and provides access to millions of digital items, including books, movies, music, software, and more. You can find Goodnight Mr Tom here:

  • Project Gutenberg: This is a website that offers over 60,000 free ebooks of works that are in the public domain or have a Creative Commons license. You can find many classic books here, but not Goodnight Mr Tom as it is still under copyright.

The alternative ways to access Goodnight Mr Tom online or offline

If you don't want to download Goodnight Mr Tom for free, or if you can't find a free pdf of it, you can still access it online or offline in other ways. Some of these ways are:

  • Borrowing it from a library: This is a great way to read books for free and legally. You can borrow Goodnight Mr Tom from your local library or from an online library service such as OverDrive or Hoopla.

  • Buying it from a bookstore or an online retailer: This is a way to support the author and the publisher, and to get a physical or digital copy of the book that you can keep and enjoy. You can buy Goodnight Mr Tom from your favorite bookstore or from an online retailer such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

  • Streaming it from an audiobook service: This is a way to listen to the book instead of reading it, which can be convenient and enjoyable. You can stream Goodnight Mr Tom from an audiobook service such as Audible or Scribd.


Goodnight Mr Tom is a wonderful book that will make you laugh, cry, and think. It is a book that will take you on a journey through history, humanity, and yourself. It is a book that you should read at least once in your life. Whether you download it for free, borrow it from a library, buy it from a bookstore, or stream it from an audiobook service, we hope you enjoy reading Goodnight Mr Tom as much as we did.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Goodnight Mr Tom:

  • Is Goodnight Mr Tom based on a true story?

No, Goodnight Mr Tom is not based on a true story, but it is inspired by real events and people. The author, Michelle Magorian, based the book on her mother's experiences as an evacuee during World War II, and on her own experiences of living in a village and being involved in amateur dramatics. She also researched the historical background of the book extensively, and incorporated many details and facts from that period.

  • How old is Willie in Goodnight Mr Tom?

Willie is nine years old when he arrives at Tom's cottage in September 1939. He turns ten in November of that year, and celebrates his birthday with Tom and his friends. He is still ten years old when he returns to London in June 1940, and when he comes back to the village in July 1940.

  • What is the name of Willie's baby sister in Goodnight Mr Tom?

Willie's baby sister does not have a name in the book. She is simply referred to as "the baby" or "his sister". Willie decides to adopt her as his sister after rescuing her from their mother, and plans to name her later. In the television film adaptation of the book, she is named Trudy.

  • What happens to Zach in Goodnight Mr Tom?

Zach is one of Willie's best friends and fellow evacuees in the book. He is a cheerful and outgoing boy who loves theater and acting. He goes back to London for a short visit in August 1940, but he is killed by a bomb that hits the theater where he was rehearsing for a play. His death devastates Willie and his other friends.

  • Is there a sequel to Goodnight Mr Tom?

Yes, there is a sequel to Goodnight Mr Tom called Back Home, which was published in 1984. It follows the life of another evacuee named Rusty, who returns to England after spending five years in America during World War II. She struggles to adjust to her new life and family, and meets Willie and his sister along the way.


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