The war may be over, but battles rage in every direction...
John Marsden is a well-known Australian writer. He has had an outstanding career as a children's author, and thrives in the genre of action seen throughout every book he has written. Some of the most famous titles are The Tomorrow Series and The Ellie Chronicles. Suzi is an established Australian actress. She is a founding member of the Bell Shakespeare Company and has worked with leading Australian theatre companies such as the Sydney Theatre Company and the Melbourne Theatre Company. Suzi's TV credits include Home and Away and The Kettering Incident on Foxtel's SoHo in Australia and BBC Worldwide internationally. Her film credits include The Loved Ones, Queen of The Damned and Love and Other Catastrophes. Suzi has recorded many audiobooks for Bolinda including Tim Winton's Dirt Music and the award-winning Tomorrow series by John Marsden.
Gr 7 Up-The first book in The Ellie Chronicles by popular Australian author John Marsden follows the story of Ellie Linton in the aftermath of a fictional war in Australia. In the opening scenes, she returns from a picnic to find that her parents were murdered as part of a guerrilla operation, probably in retaliation for her own activity in the war. Even though she is still in high school, Ellie is challenged to maintain the family farm despite financial problems, requirements to attend school, attempts to take over her farm, and the day-to-day frustrations of being a farmer. She is caring for Gavin, a deaf student, who presumably was orphaned by the war. Most of the Australian terms can be understood in context. Narrator Suzi Dougherty, with her appropriate native accent, becomes Ellie, telling her story realistically and with the right amount of emotion. Changing speed and tone frequently to reflect the different speech patterns of the characters makes the story more realistic and entertaining. Of necessity, Dougherty's reproduction of Gavin's speech is probably more clear than most deaf speech. This coming of age story will entertain today's teens.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
The conflict that fractured Australia in Tomorrow, When the War Began is over, and narrator Ellie Linton (who also narrated Tomorrow) is trying to get back to the farmer's life. But before the first chapter of Marsden's launch title in the Ellie Chronicles is through, her parents are brutally killed by militia from the other side of the new border. From there, though, the story becomes less action-packed than fans of the series have come to expect. Ellie, now alone with her friend Homer and young, impetuous Gavin, faces financial hardship and the possible loss of the farm. She decides to keep the family business going, making an enemy of the executor of her parents' estate. Meanwhile, she learns that Homer is involved in a vigilante organization called Liberation that rescues prisoners of war. When a terrorist group captures Homer during a rescue operation, Ellie's trek to retrieve him marks one of the book's few action sequences. The Tomorrow series attracted a following largely for its fast-paced nature and realistic portrayal of life during wartime. With this new offshoot of the series, Marsden takes his heroine in a more introspective direction, devoting most of the book to birthing calves and farmer's auctions instead of gun battles. It's a poignant and powerful read, but may be a disappointment to those seeking an adrenaline rush. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.