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

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

by John Marsden


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780439829106
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 06/01/2006
Series: Tomorrow Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 109,305
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About 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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Tomorrow, When the War Began 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 138 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
Not enough action for me
PAKelley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The cover of John Marsden¿s young adult novel, Tomorrow, When the War Began, tells little about the gritty, multi-faceted story within. The sepia-toned, image of a young adult (is it a boy or a girl?) holding a frayed piece of rope reminded me more of the old string joke than of a tightly written novel about war and its impacts. Tomorrow is told from the perspective Ellie, a typical teenage girl from rural Australia who organizes a camping trip for six of her friends. They return to empty houses and dead or starving pets. Where was everyone? The teens gradually realize that Australia has been invaded and their families are being held in a detention camp. Resistors are being rounded up, the houses bombed by circling fighter jets. When one of their party is shot in the leg, Ellie participates in a daring rescue that results in the death and injury of a number of the invading soldiers. Rather than reveling in their victory, Ellie and her friends are seriously conflicted. This is no Red Dawn story of vengence and chest thumping bravado. Each of the realistically drawn characters deal with the tragedy in their own way; some are justifiably outraged by the invasion, some terrified, one tries to see things from the invaders perspective. All are uncertain what they should do. They retreat to a remote mountain hideout to weigh their options and plan their next move. There, as they gather supplies and information, they begin to pair off¿teenage hormones too powerful for even a war to interrupt. Eventually, the teens decide that action is their only option. They plan and carry out an act of sabotage but pay a high price. The novel ends ambiguously, leaving plenty of storytelling for the other six books in the series. Originally published in 1993, Tomorrow, When the War Began was written well before the current crop of dystopian fiction, but Ellie is a worthy precursor to Katniss in the Hunger Games, a realistic heroine placed in an impossible situation. And like Suzanne Collins, Marsden deftly weaves action and emotion into an exciting story that longs to be read.
emilyannward on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow! I picked this book up yesterday at eleven from the library, and finished it by 10:30 this morning! What a great book. I loved all of the characters, the writing, the story. It's all very realistic, some of it heartbreaking, and it definitely keeps you reading. I'm back to the library for the sequels! And I wonder when the movie will be available in the US. . .
ChrisWarren on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
John Marsden surely understands teenagers. I was engaged throughout but gre angrier as i realised that this was part of a series that was going to take a long time to reach a resolution. I don't think I will commit myself to the next book because then you are in for the long haul
davros63au on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Being an Australian public library worker, I've had this on my list for years, and now the imminent release of the movie has spurred me on to get around to reading this classic - and I'm glad that I have. I agree with all of the plaudits this novel has received - it's well written and developed. Being a youth novel it also took me back to my high school reading and I often wondered how I would have reacted if I had read this when I was 15.The subject matter always made me stop and think, particularly as an Australian. The themes are certainly universal, but having grown up with the Cold War and learning of the World War 2 fears of the 'domino effect', I certainly found my emotions being stirred by the events and the character reactions. It is a testament to Marsden's character development however, that I was always brought back to the personal stories and interpersonal relations.Am now looking forward to reading the second.
LamSon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
These are very enjoyable reads about six teens in Australia who are camping when their country is invaded. Circumstances force them to become partisans. Marsden writes with good suspense, action and leaving you looking forward to the next volume. My two main complaints are: we never really find out who invaded Australia and the group never accumulates although they have numerous clashes with th enemy.
Maddy1508 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! This book was fantastic. Tomorrow When the War Began isn't something that I would usually read, but I loved it. It has romance, action and mystery all in one!
Tiffmeister on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended by an Australian work colleague of my husband. He heard I wrote children's book, and started talking about one of his favorite YAs that he enjoyed. So I thought I'd give it a go.It's written in the early 90s, but could take place in the present. It deals with what would happen if someone invades your country. It's something that most people growing up in the last century can relate with. The Cold War got you thinking about that possibility or at least of possible Nuclear War. The enemy soldiers are vague enough to fit most any political climate of the past and present.The book deals with full out invasion with rural, country kids as the stars. It's told in the first person and really pulls you into the story. Ellie, a normal Aussie teen, is worried about the normal things like boys and her future. But when an invasion happens in her town, she becomes an unlikely soldier, dealing with the guilt of killing in defense, and finally helping to make a difference. Other characters are changed by the experience of the invasion, and have enough depth that you want to connect and find out what happens next.I did like the emotional impact the characters deal with. It gave it all a sense of realism. The violence did have an impact since I had dreams of dead pets. Of course, this is a chord that resounded with me, and you can't have a war invasion without violence. It's like vampires not having blood to suck. But I do warn those that have trouble reading violent stories, this might not be for you.Over all, I did enjoy the book and have ordered the second to read through my public library. There are 10 books in the series, and I don't know if I'll make it through them all, but I intend to plow through some. We'll see how long the series keeps my attention.
MatthewPh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tomorrow When the War Began is an excellent novel which I enjoyed reading with the class. This is the only John Marsden book that I have read so it gives a good impression into what kind of author he is.It begins with Ellie and her 6 friends going on a camping trip to a place called Hell. Of course everybody is introduced but there is a lot of foreshadowing near the start of the novel. They have a fun and lazy time at the campsite but when they come back, everything has changed and there is not a soul in sight. They soon realise that foreign armies have taken over their hometown and are holding their parents captive at the show grounds. Although their parents are safe, Ellie and her friends must overcome their fear and fight back in order to reclaim their homes.The novel is set in the Australian outback and Marsden describes it very detailed when they arrive at the campsite. He makes the novel very believable through the fact that he puts lots of tension and action in it. He also adds many emotions to the characters so that we as the audience can empathise with it and get more engaged into the book.I recommend this book to people ages 11 and up because it has many words those ages under possibly cannot understand without adult assistant. I also recommend this book to people who likes mysteries because there is plenty of things you want to fund out when reading
AEbert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tomorrow, when the war began is an emotional book written by a famous writer called John Marsden. Tomorrow when the war began is an insightful book that portrays the emotions of a group of young teenagers, who have survived an invasion. This book is told in first person perspective from the main character, Ellie. A group of young teenagers decided to go on a one week camping trip, deep in the outback of Australia. Isolated from the world and disconnected from all contact, they enjoy a peaceful time away from all other civilisation. The teenagers later learn that while they were gone Australia was invaded by a foreign country. They emotionally attempted to find their parents and other friends but they were nowhere to be found. This book explores the possibilities if Australia was invaded by a foreign country, and a group of young teenagers managed to survive the invasion because of their isolation from the rest of the world. Every character endures an emotional journey to find truth and meaning of what happened when they were gone. This book uses great describing words and has very descriptive details about almost anything they see or do. Tomorrow, when the war began, offers a sense of realism and a sense of being in the action. Many people can relate to this and it can be enjoyed by all people, young or old. This book was targeted to entertain teenaged readers because they can understand the emotions and experience the realism that John Marsden achieved while writing this book. John Marsden also leaves the audience with a dramatic, cliff-hanger ending which makes the audience/reader want to read the rest of the books in the series. In my opinion, I think this book was extremely exciting and also incredibly emotional because I was able to make a connection between some of the suffering teenaged characters. I think this book was worth reading and I would like to read the rest of the series to read more about their miraculous journey. I would rate this book 8 ½ out of 10 but it is up to other readers to decide how good this book truly is.By Alex Ebert
dasuzuki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think I first heard about this series from Michelle over at GalleySmith and had bought it awhile back but only read it recently. I wish I had done so sooner. It was a riveting story about what this group of teenagers do after finding out their country has been invaded and their families being held prisoner. The interactions between the various characters was gripping and while there was some romance going on I liked how surreal it was to be thinking about crushes and relationships when all of this is going on. I wavered from relating to Ellie to being irritated by some of her actions and thoughts but for the most part I could empathize because it seemed so realistic. This book definitely had me wishing I had book 2 at hand right away!
meerka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Masterfully crafted characters who seem completely believable. Excellent use of tension. This is a far more believable scenario than in the Gone Series. Not as emotionally draining as a first reading of "Life As We Knew It", but right up there with YA books that will be equally appealing to adults. Hoping to find more of the series available through interlibrary loan.
ashooles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not really my style of book, but I really enjoyed it. I found it exciting and hard to stop reading as I was determined to find out what happened next with Ellie and her friends. Wonderful
SMG-aKeser on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this book was interesting but got reppetitive towards the end. i am shocked to hear that there is a whole series based on this same consept.
SMG-AMcmahon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i loved tomorrow when the war began because it was from different point of view. it was like a combination of action and thriller and at the same time alot of different friendships formed. i loved the action and the book seeemed really believable, at some times i felt like i was there.
SMG-BCarter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A brilliant book packed with loads of action and adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. A brilliant introduction to the tomorrow series!
smg-gmolloy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this is a great book filled with excitement. i recomend it for people from ages 13- 16 but i think anyone would enjoy it.
SMG-Jnewman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A punchy book that is exciting and a hard book to put down