Tomorrow, When the War Began (Tomorrow Series #1)

( 105 )

Overview


World War III becomes an unstoppable reality in the action-packed first installment of the Tomorrow series--an international bestseller in an eye-catching new paperback.

When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they're leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone ...

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Overview


World War III becomes an unstoppable reality in the action-packed first installment of the Tomorrow series--an international bestseller in an eye-catching new paperback.

When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they're leaving their old lives behind forever. Despite a less-than-tragic food shortage and a secret crush or two, everything goes as planned. But a week later, they return home to find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone wrong--horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured--including their families and all their friends.
Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight.

Seven Australian teenagers return from a camping trip in the bush to discover that their country has been invaded and they must hide to stay alive.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Ellie and six of her friends are on holiday camping in the Australian bush when their country is invaded by a foreign enemy. They return home to discover that their friends and families have been herded into prison camps, their pets starving or killed outright. Thus begins a seven-book saga chronicling the adventures of a small band of teens determined to stay free and fight against impossible odds. Since their publication in the mid-1990s, the "Tomorrow" books have remained one of the best-selling series in Australia. Although the fictional invading army is never identified, the impact of war on civilians rings nonetheless true.—Angelina Benedetti, "35 Going on 13," BookSmack! 8/19/10
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Australian friends return from a camping trip in the outback to discover that enemy forces have invaded the country and imprisoned everyone in town. A gripping tale, told with Marsden's customary incisiveness. Ages 12-up. (Dec.)
Publishers Weekly
Scholastic will reissue the first two volumes in John Marsden's the Tomorrow series-Tomorrow, When the War Began and The Dead of Night-this month, and will feature them in its on-line summer-reading campaign (see Children's Bookshelf, June 8). One additional title will appear every other month. PW called the story of some Australian friends who return from a camping trip to discover that enemy forces have invaded the country and imprisoned everyone in town "a gripping tale." Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Paula Demichel
What would you do if you came home from a camping trip in the desert to find the houses in your neighborhood abandoned, food rotting, your pets dead, and the electric power cut off? A group of Australian teenagers finds just this situation when they return home after a week spent in the bush. When one of them finds a fax from his father warning them to hide out for safety, they decide to reconnoiter the fairground. What they see-armed soldiers guarding an enormous tent into which the people have been herded-forces the reluctant understanding that the country has been invaded. What now? A rescue attempt with no weapons? Where can weapons and food be found while the group decides what their policy will be? Where will they hide? Are they the only ones free? Marsden has crafted a survival story that no reader will be able to put down unfinished.
KLIATT - Claire Rosser
First published in Australia, this suspenseful series was reviewed extensively in KLIATT when released in the US in hardcover editions and also as audiobooks. Now, the volumes are available as trade paperbacks, and this is the chance for all YA libraries to get copies. The basic plot of the series is that a group of high school friends in Australia are away on a camping trip when their country is attacked and terrorized by an unnamed enemy. They become an insurgency group, doing whatever they can do to make things difficult for the occupying forces. Their parents and families have been placed in concentration camps, demoralized. The teenagers, making use of their intimate knowledge of their own hometown, stage raids and then retreat to the outback to regroup. The narrator is Ellie, who is filled with rage sometimes and remorse at other times. She is a realist, knowing that they have to do what they are doing if they expect to get their homeland back. All kinds of moral issues are raised. Also compelling are their feelings about each another. This represents the best of YA literature—exciting, honest, gripping. (Look for the final two books in the series to be released shortly—there are seven in all.)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Australian teenager Ellie and six of her friends return from a winter break camping trip to find their homes burned or deserted, their families imprisoned, and their country occupied by a foreign military force in league with a band of disaffected Australians. As their shock wears off, the seven decide they must stick together if they are to survive. After a life-threatening skirmish with the occupiers, the teens retreat to their isolated campsite in the bush country and make plans to fight a guerilla war against the invaders. Writing in a distinct voice and showing rare intelligence and sensitivity, Ellie recounts their courageous battles against the Goliath in control of their land. She also records her feelings and observations about the romantic partnerships that develop within her small circle of friends, and shows how they mature and blossom during this time of crisis. Though readers are left wondering whether these heroes and heroines will survive (one is severely wounded at the end of the novel), Ellie's uncommonly honest and clear narration makes this coming-of-age adventure a story they won't forget. Fast-paced and provocative, it's a natural for book talking.-Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego
From the Publisher
"A riveting adventure through which Marsden explores the capacity for evil and the necessity of working together to oppose it." Horn Book, Starred
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439829106
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2006
  • Series: Tomorrow , #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 70,666
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


John Marsden accidentally put himself through the perfect training to become a novelist.

He read vast numbers of books, acquired a love of language, and became insatiably curious about other people. He also had a variety of jobs, 32 at the last count, including working in abattoirs, hospitals, morgues and a haunted house.

In 1985, rather to his own surprise, he found himself teaching English in the Australian bush, at Timbertop School. Noticing a complete lack of interest in reading among his Year 9 students he tried his hand at writing a short novel that he thought they might enjoy.

The rest is history. John Marsden, author of the Tomorrow series and Ellie Chronicles, is now the world's most successful author of teenage fiction. He has sold a million and a half books worldwide, and has won awards in Europe, America and Australia. His first love however is still teaching, and he spends most of his time running writing camps at his property, near Hanging Rock, Victoria.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 105 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(68)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 105 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    highly recommended...If you like the Hunger Games, you'll like this

    although they never tell you which country invades them, this is a great wild ride. Kids leave to go camping in the wildnerness and come back to everyone they love having been captured. It is a little dated at first b/c it's pre-smart phone / cell phone and my first instinct was 'why didn't they go online to find out' but other than that it was great. teens get it together and save the world. Really enjoyed it and it led you right into the next one...I read all seven back to back and still wanted more but you can't get the Ellie Chronicles (what happens after the war) for Nook and they didn't have them in-store to purchase. If you like the Hunger Games, you'll enjoy this.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2011

    Honest.

    Billeted as Y/A, the narration and plot provide an astute insight into war and occupation on homeland soil. The back-stories of multiple characters only adds to it's richness as they cope with challenges of war and strife, their own maturity, what is asked of them, what they overestimate, and how they negotiate with their evolving self and ideals. It's not about complete character assassination, rather hope and choosing to fight for a life and it's sustaining values.

    As a social worker that worked in inner city medical trauma, I found this book to even be a turning point personally and clinically in my work. I highly recommend it. Heck, I married the man who lent it to me! It was a good discussion point for us about values, pragmatics/idealism, and military (he's military).

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2012

    The best i have read

    I was introduced to this series while on vacation to see my cousins who had ben living in australia for the past year. We all like to read so they all sudjested them to me. I bought the first two before our flight home and had them finished by the time we landed. I emedeatley ordered the rest to arrive and couldnt read anything else while waiting because when i would try i would allways find myself thinking about ellie and her friends battling for their family and their country. This is the best series i have ever read, and i have read ALOT of series. Recomended to anyone and everyone.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2014

    There are not enough words to adequately describe how MUCH I lov

    There are not enough words to adequately describe how MUCH I love this book. It’s intense, and thrilling, emotional, raw, witty…everything I love in a book and more. The story is set in Australia, where a group of teens decide to take one last camping trip before school starts back up. While camping deep in the bush, their country is overtaken by an enemy that is never fully defined, but that feeds the plot so perfectly. And because the teens don’t know who is behind it, neither does the reader.

    As the reality of what has happened slowly dawns on Ellie and her friends, a chill washes over the reader. It is so utterly believable that you can’t help but get caught up in the story, feel the initial shock and growing fear as they realize everyone they love is gone, their pets dead, and they have no idea what has happened.

    Slowly they put the pieces together and decide to fight back, first against their own fears, and then against the enemy. The emotion that John Marsden brings to the story is authentic. As a high school teacher, he has a deep understanding of the teenage mind and draws his characters so beautifully real that it’s hard to remember they’re fictional.

    Plot
    The characters deal with the realities of life in a country ripped from under them and the ugly realities of war. They’re the only ones left to do something, and yet nothing in their lives has prepared them for it. The story starts off a little slow, but not haltingly so. John Marsden beautifully sets up his pivotal moment, building to the unfolding horror like a steady climb up the steps of Hell, where the kids have been camping. And then it takes off at breakneck speed, from one intense moment to the next, allowing us only small moments to catch our breath.

    I think what I love best about this story is the way the characters are so deeply affected by what has happened and what they have to do. So many stories of this nature have the characters deal with emotions in the moment, but there never seems to be any lasting damage from the events. Often, characters are broken by what happened before the story starts and play into the character arcs. But in Tomorrow When the War Began, the characters are profoundly affected by what they need to do, and we see them break before our eyes.

    Characters
    The characters are what really make this book what it is. Yes, it has a pulse-pounding plot, but the nuanced complexities of Ellie, Homer, Fi, Robyn, Corrie, Lee and Chris take the story from just a thriller to something so much deeper. Ellie is a fun-loving only child who considers her friends to be family. The way she adores her friends makes me adore her even when she’s getting on my last nerve.

    Homer is the guy I want to hang out with, the one I want as my best friend. He’s a crazy Greek with streak for getting into trouble, but would never abandon you in the thick of things. He’s definitely the guy you want along on your camping trip or an attack on an unknown enemy.

    Corrie is Ellie’s best mate, the one she’d do anything for. Their relationship is at the heart of the story and ultimately the most emotional and heartbreakingly real. Corrie stands by Ellie when Ellie snaps and alienates everyone else, but she does it with love and a touch of humor.

    Robyn is sweet and principled and is constantly finding those principles put to the test. Standing by her long-held beliefs or standing by her friends is a battle she fights nearly every day and it’s both painful and satisfying watching her grow.

    Fiona, or Fi, is the sweet, wholesome, rich girl from town hanging out with the “rural inbreds” and she’s so clearly out of her element that most of the comic relief is at her expense, but she takes it with grace.

    Chris is the town stoner, but he’s no Jeff Spicoli. Chris is far deeper than I originally thought and the more I learn about him, the more I like him.

    And finally, there’s Lee. What can I say about Lee except that I love him. So completely and truly. He’s a musician and the only one of the group who the others don’t really know. Ellie invites him along as a last choice because she finds him “interesting.” He ultimately becomes her love interest, but he’s much more than that. Lee is the center to Ellie’s craziness. He’s willing to do what needs to be done, regardless of how awful he finds it. He’s not immune to the consequences of their actions, but he understands better than the others that war sometimes means difficult choices and that beating yourself up constantly over those choices isn’t prudent.

    Bottom Line
    Tomorrow When the War Began is probably the best young adult dystopian novel you’ve never read. John Marsden has created a totally believable and horrifying world and plunked his complex characters into it to play out a what-if scenario that is brilliant on so many levels. The fact that it is just the first book in a series, and that I read the entire ten-book series in under three months, is a testament to how incredibly much I love the Tomorrow series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2013

    Better than Hunger Games!

    I saw the movie and noticed that is was based on a book, so I came to B&N to look for the nook books and was excited to see that it was a series of 7. This 1st book is slow to start, especially if you have not seen the movie, but then it take s off! This is supposed to be a youth/teen book, but they did not write them this way when I was young. I recommend that parents glance through these books to be sure they think that their child can handle the "war time" theme. But anyway, i loved the series and really was sad when it was over!! In it's own way, this is educational on survival that unfortunately may be needed one day.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Great but digital version is loaded with type-o's.

    I've read all 3 books in the Tomorrow series on my Nook. The story is very intriguing and entertaining as seen from the eyes of teenagers. Definitely worth reading. My grip is with the lack of proof reading the digitized versions. There are many many spelling errors that could have been corrected with just one quick read through. I hope B&N will do a better job in the future. If you're going to sell digital books that cost more than the paper versions, then at least try to verify it's accuracy a tad bit. Still... great reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2006

    Tomorrow, When the War Began

    Eight teenagers, Ellie, Homer, Corrie, Kevin, Fiona, Chris, and Robyn, are alone in the outback of Australia. During a camping trip, their country is invaded and they are the few people who haven¿t been taken captive by the invaders. The eight teens have to figure out where all of the people in their city have gone, figure out what they are going to do about the invasion, and survive in the wilderness. Tomorrow, When the War Began is written in first person by Ellie, who is recording their experiences in a journal. She writes about her life before the invasion, the life of her friends who are with her, how they survive by themselves, and how they react to the invasion. This is a wonderful book. It is very suspenseful, as the reader doesn¿t know what will happen next and if the characters will survive the entire book, or even the next few pages. The fact that the book is written in first person makes it easier to relate to. The reader gets the views of Ellie and all of her thoughts, but only the thoughts of the other characters from what they say and what Ellie says about them. The reader gets a connection to Ellie and really feels like they are in her place. This was a really great book and I will definitely recommend it to my friends.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    Hermes Cabin

    Welcome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    Great vook

    OMG this book is great if you like action and a little romance this is your book

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  • Posted January 3, 2014

    First book in series is holding my attention

    I'm an old lady reading a SF book probably meant for teenagers, but I like it. Since it takes place in Australia, some of the words are quite foreign to an American, nevertheless I am enjoying reading it and will probably purchase the sequels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Great seried

    Very addictive

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  • Posted February 28, 2013

    This was a pretty good book. I was expecting a lot more action b

    This was a pretty good book. I was expecting a lot more action but this still held my interest quite well. Almost the Australian version of Red Dawn.

    Short book and easy read. I've read the first 3 books of the series so far, none were fantastic but all were good enough for me to pick up the next one.

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  • Posted February 24, 2013

    I really enjoyed this book. It was fast-paced and made a profou

    I really enjoyed this book. It was fast-paced and made a profound statement about humanity. People can be so awful and cruel, yet simultaneously so good and caring too. This book showed both of these sides in a new and interesting way and I would definitely read the sequels. The setting is vague and I like how the title Tomorrow, when the War Began hints at the hypothetical nature of this story. The events are fairly realistic and something like this could actually happen, which makes this something almost like a horror story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Definitely recommended

    I actually started reading the series because I saw the movie on net flix, but it is a great book and now I am hooked to read all of the rest of them. I would definitely recommend reading this book.

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  • Posted December 4, 2012

    Beyond what was expected!!! Ever since I read the first book se

    Beyond what was expected!!!

    Ever since I read the first book seven years ago, I was devestated because I thought that was the only book....but after that i saw the movie and heard that they were going to make a sequel....I was like Sequel???
    I read the next book and was speechless!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    LOVED THIS SERIES!

    This is the first book of the series and I couldn't wait to go onto the next book. I had to keep going until the war was finally over! I loved the glossary in the books to follow. There are several words and phrases that are different and ther are many typos, but enjoued it!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    Awesome

    If you like the hunger games you will love this it has adventure and everything people will love!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2011

    hands down amazing.

    this book is wonderfully written and it's almost as if you are right there next to the action. i could not put it down, and i can guarantee that if you buy it, you won't be able to stop reading it, either! the plot is so well written and the characters are so likeable. this whole book is just brilliant. a must-read.

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    Red Dawn down under

    even tho its written for the teenage this was a really good read. Think Red Dawn without all the hollywood glitz

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    If you liked Hunger Games....

    If you have read Hunger Games and love it you will love this Australian series.

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