I originally posted this in 2018 and I wanted to update it a little to add some other Australian authors that I have since discovered and thoroughly enjoyed. It’s going to make it a chonky post so I hope you make it all the way through.
John Marsden – born in Victoria in 1950, he had an interest in writing from a young age. He was a teacher and has written many books, he is successful internationally as well as at home.
The Tomorrow when the War Began series was my favourite series as a young teen. A group of kids go camping for a weekend and when they get back they discover that their area/country has been invaded. Their loved ones are held captive, so they do the only thing they can do – Guerrilla warfare. Ellie and her friends are a diverse bunch with many skills, they use these country kid skills to cause mayhem for the invading forces. I absolutely loved the idea of kids kicking arse and taking it to the bad guys. The relationships between the kids were complex and well written. John Marsden didn’t skim over the details, he handled the mental challenges the kids faced really well, the fallout for them. It’s not all sunshine and lollipops, these kids go through hell and their mental health reflects this. I still reread this series every couple of years. I cannot wait for my daughter to read this series. There are seven books in the series and I just discovered a follow-up series called the Ellie Chronicles that I have yet to read.
(2021 update – My daughter was not a fan of this and didn’t even make it through the first book… Does this mean I failed as a mum? lol)