Winner of the 1982 IRA Children's Book Award
London is poised on the brink of World War II. 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.
Winner, 1982 International Reading Association Children's Book AwardNotable Children's Books of 1982 (ALA)1982 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)1983 Fanfare Honor List (The Horn Book)1982 Young Adult Editors' Choices (BL)1983 Teachers' Choices (NCTE)Notable 1982 Children's Trade Books in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)1988 Choices (Association of Booksellers for Children)Children's Books of 1982 (Library of Congress)