What a great book! I have just finished reading it for the second time and am full of admiration for Michelle Magorian’s novel, first published in 1981. It’s the moving story of Willie Beech, mistreated at home in London, but then sent to the countryside as part of the evacuation of the city’s children at the beginning of the Second World War. He is put in the care of Tom Oakley, a grumpy loner, whose wife and child both died years before.
As a literacy leader, I am always being asked to recommend books to read in class or for Guided Reading, or by parents what they should buy for their children. This is on my list. I have used it in English lessons while studying WW2 as a topic. WW2 is not on the UK’s National Curriculum anymore, but this year we are going to explore childhood as a theme in British history and we will dip into Mr Tom as part of that. But you don’t have to link it to a topic; just enjoy reading it in small groups or use sections of it to inspire your children’s own writing.