The town of Wirrawee is emerging from war, slowly. School's back in, Juicy's is open for coffee, farmers are bidding at the cattle sales. Ellie Linton at last gets what she longed for and what she fought for, to be back on the farm with her parents. But it's not the same. A new nation is on the other side of a new border. Suddenly the war is about to explode into Ellie's life again. The effects are devastating. The consequences will change her forever.
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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.
Grade 8 Up–Fans of 16-year-old Ellie Linton, gutsy guerrilla fighter from Marsden's Tomorrow series (Scholastic), will be overjoyed that she's back in an exciting series of her own. The realistic and shocking war-related violence that characterized the earlier titles is just as prevalent here, as Ellie adjusts to postwar life on her family's farm. An uneasy truce exists, and, although enemy soldiers often cross the nearby border to loot residences, the teen is not very concerned. One afternoon while hiking with her adopted, profoundly deaf brother, Gavin, and old pal Homer, they hear gunfire coming from her property. What they find when they arrive home forever changes the young people's lives, forcing them back into a war zone. Ellie must assume adult responsibilities that she never imagined and her very survival depends on outwitting an unscrupulous lawyer bent on getting her land. Marsden realistically portrays life during an uneasy truce. Plot details from the Tomorrow series are frequently mentioned, but this title can easily be read alone. However, readers should also be steered to the previous books, since they provide an exceptional reading experience.–Sharon Rawlins, NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped, Trenton
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