Kevin Carbone
EDLA 615
Prof. Silverman

 Goodnight, Mr. Tom

The Extension Project

             Reading Goodnight, Mr. Tom was a very pleasurable experience for me.  I really did enjoy the story and the characters that the author included in the novel.  The Literature Circle for this book provided many different perspectives by the different leaders and in turn, brought up some very good questions and points.  This book did not just deal with the growth of the main character, Willie, but also accurately portrayed the hardships of small towns during World War II. 

            I chose for my extension project a CD cover that would list songs from the soundtrack to the novel.  I was really racked for ideas and took many hours to finally settle on an idea.  I was looking for examples on different extension projects and found one that elementary students completed.  The list of songs that they came up with showed me that they actually took time to identify the themes of parts of the book and related them to songs that they know.  I tried to take major parts of the book and find adequate songs that would relate. 

            At the end of this project, I really felt proud of my accomplishment for this project.  I found songs that I feel represented Willie’s growth and key points in the story that shaped his growth. 


Goodnight, Mr. Tom

1. The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Bob Dylan

2. This is the Time – Billy Joel

3. Vindicated – Dashboard Confessional

4. Mother – John Lennon

5. I Will Take You Home – Grateful Dead

6. Hold On – Sarah McLachlan

7. I am a Rock – Paul Simon

8. Fire and Rain – James Taylor

9. I’m Movin’ On – Rascal Flatts


Explanation of Songs:


  1. I chose this song because I felt that Willie and Tom were going to begin a life together that would ultimately change for both of them.  I thought that the words conveyed by Dylan were very appropriate to this first encounter between the two.


  1. When Willie begins to hang out with his newly acquired friends, I thought that those times of picking blackberries would be something that they would want to hold on to or remember, especially with the wartime situations that they would have to deal with.


  1. With this song, I interpret the words as an individual who is gaining self-esteem and is realizing his own worth.  Mr. Tom keeps encouraging Willie and gives that support to him that helps him realize his potential. 


  1. When I read that Willie’s mother called him back to London, I began to read even faster to see what would happen.  Then atop all the unsupportive dialogue that his mother and he had, I began to see that a rough road was beginning to be traveled.  I thought about how Willie was imagining his mother when he was left and abandoned and then told that his mother was not coming back.  I thought John Lennon’s song set the right mood when Willie would think about his own mother.  Even though Lennon’s mother died when he was 17 and Willie’s mother left him for dead, the feeling and words of the song were relative.


  1. “I Will Take You Home” was an easy pick based upon Mr. Tom breaking Willie out of the hospital and bringing him back to the cottage.  The verse I chose from the song depicted that instance perfectly.


  1. When Willie is brought back to Mr. Tom’s cabin, he is still haunted by the death of his sister and the abandonment of his mother.  He needed time to get over these traumatic instances and Mr. Tom was there the whole time to help him through it.  “Hold On” seemed appropriate because from Tom’s perspective, he knew that Will had to let it out to get over it.  I felt that he could sing this song to Will to let him know he was there and supportive.


  1. When Zach dies, Willie has a hard time dealing with news.  He separates himself from his life and refuses to mourn for Zach.  He, in my opinion, acts like a rock and feels no pain, and acts like an island and does not cry.


  1. He does finally grieve over Zach’s death and realizes that he can be with Zach in his heart.  This song reflects his loss and coming to terms with the incident.


  1. I just imagine this movie ending with this song playing through the credits.  The song lets the listener know about a journey that has been taken and the singer’s realization after.  Will realizes that he has grown, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally.  All of the valleys that he has endured in his life, helped shape him into the boy he became and the man he will become.

    Self Evaluation:






Project does not convey the meaning of the book 

Project partially conveys the meaning of the book 

Project fully conveys the meaning of the book 


There is no organization 

The organization of the project is very weak 

There is exceptional organization 



The project shows no effort 

The project shows a little effort 

The project shows a full amount of effort 


                                                                                                                          Total: 9/9


 Various CDs