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.
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
Ellie and her friends were off camping in the bush when their town was invaded by a foreign military and their families taken prisoner. Now they must decide-surrender or fight for their country's freedom. Thus begins a seven-book series that has sold over five million copies worldwide. Listen Up: Ellie, the series' narrator, is tougher than the Terminator's Sarah Connor and still a bit of an idiot about boys. Dougherty's Australian accent is addictive, a whiskey-rasp that strikes a perfect balance between innocence and war-weary experience.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.