Tomorrow, When the War Began

Tomorrow, When the War Began

4.4 106
by John Marsden
     
 

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When Ellie and six of her friends return home from a camping trip deep in the bush, they find things hideously wrong -- their families gone, houses empty and abandoned, pets and stock dead. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in the town has been taken prisoner. As the horrible reality of the situation becomes evident…  See more details below

Overview

When Ellie and six of her friends return home from a camping trip deep in the bush, they find things hideously wrong -- their families gone, houses empty and abandoned, pets and stock dead. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in the town has been taken prisoner. As the horrible reality of the situation becomes evident they have to make a life-and-death decision: to run back into the bush and hide, to give themselves up to be with their families, or to stay and try to fight. This reveting, tautly-drawn novel seems at times to be only a step away from today's headlines.

Editorial Reviews

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.)
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.
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
Jeanne Triner
When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip deep in the bush, they find that their country has been invaded and their families taken prisoner. A fax left by one of their parents warns them to "go bush," but that is easier said than done. First, they have to evade patrols, rescue one of their crew, blow up the bridge that serves as the main artery for the invading forces, and, eventually, grow up. In the midst of all the action, Marsden manages to work in a Swiss Family Robinson survival element, a little romance, and a lot of internal turmoil about man's justifications for hurting other human beings. In short, this suspenseful adventure story has something for everyone and just enough insight into what makes us tick in times of stress to allow readers to overlook the implausibility of the premise. It also provides an interesting look at the lives and concerns of Australian teens.
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:
9780547511979
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/27/1995
Series:
Tomorrow Series , #1
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
92,922
Lexile:
850L (what's this?)
File size:
266 KB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

John Marsden’s highly praised series concludes in this thrilling installment that will bring readers to the edge of their seats and keep them there until the last page is turned. John Marsden is one of Australia’s best-known writers for young adults. His work has received critical acclaim and has earned a cultlike following worldwide. The popular Tomorrow series has been translated into seven languages and has sold over one million copies in Australia alone.

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4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 105 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Stellar7blue More than 1 year ago
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).
THHernandez More than 1 year ago
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.
graysmenagerie More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG this book is great if you like action and a little romance this is your book
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carolebarrelND More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very addictive
Ryanxia More than 1 year ago
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.
M-Bier More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elena_idil More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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