Tomorrow, when the war began
Author: John Marsden
Publisher: New York: MacMillan, 1995.
A group of 6 teenagers takes a camping trip into the outback, only to return to find that in their absence their country has been invaded and their family and friends all taken hostage. They all must face a difficult decision- turn themselves into these invaders who have taken over their lives and homes for a reason unknown to them, return to the wilderness and hide in hopes that equilibrium will return to the country, or fight for their homes and families. This book is told through the viewpoint of Ellie, who is chronicling their ordeal so that a record of what they do and why exists.
This book is a gritty and realistic take on how a group of teenagers, saavy about the wilderness and survival, reacts to finding their entire lives turned upside down for reasons they do not understand. It gives an interesting perspective on how they make the decision to fight for their country on their own with no outside help, and how they decide to do it. It is an excellent story of not only physical survival against immense odds, but also of the psychological impacts of surviving. These aren’t kids who were built for war, but their courage and mature decision making make for very interesting reading. The book is incredibly well written, with excellent character development which ensures that anyone reading will be able to identify with the emotions of the characters involved. While it could be construed as a bit old for tweens, other similar titles have proven popular with this age group which is why I included this.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Reading level: 7th, 8th Grade
Similar Books: Hunger Games
Personal thoughts- Fantastic!
Subjects/themes- War, Survival, Invasion, Fiction
Series information- Part of a 7 book series, followed by a 3 book trilogy about after the war
Ellie- unelected leader of the group, her survival skills and ideas for fighting the enemy lay the basis of their lives
Homer- the goofy yet incredibly smart second of the group
Lee- the most serious of the group, he lacks the survival skills of the others but is always ready to learn
Fi- often the most sensible of the group
Corrie- Best friends with Ellie, she sees the reality of war first hand
Robin- level headed and calm
Kevin- Corrie’s boyfriend, learns that the strength he thought he had is not what he thought it was
Annotation: What would you do if your country had been invaded, all your family and friends taken hostage, and you were the only one left free?