Goodnight, Mr. Tom is set during World War II. Old widower Tom Oakley, a resident of a village in England, takes in young Willie Beech, an evacuee from London who has spent his whole life being abused by his religious mother. Under the gruff but kindly care of Tom, Willie learns how to act, makes friends, and nurtures his talent for drawing. When Willie's mother sends for him, Tom must make a confusing journey to London to bring him back. This book explores the themes of war, innocence, and grief.