Tomorrow, When the War Began| John Marsden

Curtesy of

The Book

The premise is this: 7 Australian teenagers go camping for a few days before school returns, when the return the parents aren’t home, the dogs are dead, the phones aren’t working, and the electricity has been cut. Next house, same problems. Australia has been invaded. What are they gonna do about it?

The Good Bits

– confused Teenagers

I loved that Ellie (our protagonist) gets confused about boys in the middle of a tumultuous time. It’s completely not the time for it, but it adds some alleviation to the whole situation, while also reminding the reader that these are just kids. Not soldiers, not adults: kids.

– The enemy

It was never referred to as being a specific country, which I suppose is a good way to gain more readership overseas, but it also doesn’t matter. It’s not about senators trying to talk someone else into getting their country, it’s not soldiers bloodily fighting each other, it’s a group of scared kids. And it’s more than just another reminder. It actually doesn’t matter. It’s happened, and they just have to deal with it now.

– Location

Believe it or not, Australia doesn’t consist of Sydney and Bush. Showing the occurrences of a small coastal town shows a new aspect of Australia that you don’t often see. The characters are real people (of course) and not terrible exaggerations of stereotypes. (I’m looking at You mr Dundee) although at least Paul Hogan’s Australian.

The Not-So-Good Bits

– Red Dawn

So I don’t know if you’ve heard of the 1984 film (and 2012 remake) Red Dawn. And unfortunately I can’t argue that Tomorrow, When the War Began came first. It is, however, in my opinion, a better version. First off it’s Australian, and secondly it deal with kids becoming killers and it isn’t at all about patriotism, but saving their families.

Thought’s From The Back Cover | Teens are people too. 

Too readily people are dismissing the views of young people because they have less experience in the real world. But also because they’re selfish and expect everything to be handed to them. They take too many selfies and wear too many tattoos. While the novel was published back in 1993 (before I was even born) I’m pretty sure not that much has changed. So as a young person I’m going to argue that that’s bull.

Those teens didn’t stay out of it all and wait for it to blow over, they used their very smart noggins to save their family. We don’t exactly see them before the whole thing really starts, but there’s still talk of boys, and girls and everything you’d expect to see from teenagers. With the Brexit thing recently and the Australian vote coming up for me it’s just got me thinking. Did you know that 75% of people aged between 18 and 24 voted to stay. Did you also know that young people in Australia are ‘flocking to the Greens‘ party. These are the young people who are going to be the ones having to live with all of the long term goals that one party puts in. but 18-24 year olds are a minority based on the rest of the country. I wonder what the 80 year olds voted? Are they really the ones who are going to have to deal with all the long term repercussions of Brexit? or is it the young people.

I’m not saying that young people’s vote deserves more weight. I’m just saying we should stop discounting what they’re saying. #youngpeoplearepeopletoo

Get Reading. Get Travelling.


Edit: oh God I just realised I credited this book to James Marsden.


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