Tomorrow, When the War Began

By John Marsden

Prediction: based on book cover

Based on the book cover, I predict that Tomorrow, When the War Began is about a carnival or fair that soldiers or an army attacked or crashed. I predict that everyone was scared away from the carnival and had no idea what was going on.


Diary Entry

Diary entry from Ellie's father, after the Wirrawee Show.

Commemoration Day night, 1993

We were enjoying the Wirrawee Show, showing my bulls and watching other families show their animals and participate in carnival rides, when I began to hear loud noises coming from above me, as dozens of planes surrounded the Showgrounds suddenly and unexpectedly. We all stopped what we were doing and turned our attention to the planes. We were all wondering what was going on, as no one knew that this was going to happen and I wasn't sure that it was planned. After about a minute of everyone talking and mumbling to the people around us, we were all pretty sure that these weren't Show planes that had just landed.

Then, people (who looked like soldiers) started to climb out of the planes. I noticed that they looked stern and not very nice. When they were walking towards us, people from the Show started yelling out things like, “Who are you?” and, “What’s going on?”. The soldiers were shouting orders to each other and all that I could make out were shouts like, “You take that group!” and, “Be quick! Hurry!”. That was when I realised that they were definitely not part of the Show. The soldiers then started grabbing people and tried to take them away. People like me, who have families, got their families together and started running. But, none of us reacted fast enough to escape. I guess we were all just too shocked and confused to move straight away. The soldiers had weapons. Guns, to be exact.

We are now being held captive at the Showgrounds with everyone else from the Show. I think this is some kind of international invasion. Hopefully our army can overcome these invaders. I hope Ellie is okay. She and her friends went off on a camping trip after the Christmas school holidays started. They should be back soon. They probably have no idea what's going on. Our family dogs are probably starving and thirsty, as I only gave them a small top-up of food before we left. Millie will probably look after her puppies. They'll be okay. But Ellie and her friends will be worried.

Character Analysis


Ellie changed a bit throughout the novel, but not very much. She is still quite controlling and bossy, but she is more brave and adventurous. Ellie also has a lot more courage than she had at the start of the novel. "We've got to stick together, that's all I know." (Pg. 284)


Homer changed the most throughout the novel. At the start of the novel, he was immature and had a hobby of annoying and irritating people. He also liked playing pranks and jokes on people he didn't like. "Homer was wild, outrageous." (Pg. 16) "No one took Homer very seriously." (Pg. 43) Throughout the novel, he sort of grew up and became a leader and didn't find the same things funny that he used to. He figures out plans and goes through every single detail so that it is perfect, before he puts the plan into action. "We should decide if we're going to stay here in hiding... or if we should get out there and do something about it." (Pg. 284) "Making lists and drawing plans." (Pg. 284)


At the start of the novel, Kevin was selfish and only cared about himself surviving, but throughout the novel, he began to realise how he was acting, and slowly started to change. "Typical rural... known for having a big ego and taking credit for everything." (Pg. 14) At the end of the novel, he shows that he really does care about Corrie and his friends, and puts their lives before his when they are being attacked by the invading army. When Corrie gets hurt, he goes with her and turns them both in to the army, so that Corrie can get treatment and stay alive. He shows that he would do anything for her. "I knew Corrie was in good hands." (Pg. 282)


Corrie didn't change much throughout the novel. At the start of the novel, she was basically obsessed with Kevin and only cared about him and what he was doing. "More absorbed in each other than the scenery." (Pg. 22) At the end of the novel, she showed that she really does care about her best friend, Ellie, and gets involved with the fighting when her friends are being attacked, and tries to protect them. She takes a big risk by getting involved with the fighting, because she ends up getting hurt and has to turn herself in to the army, in order to get treatment and stay alive. "Corrie was my sister." (Pg. 281)


Fi starts off as a very posh town girl who is afraid of the bush and doesn't like getting dirty. "She's light and graceful... the perfect person." (Pg. 14) Throughout the novel, she becomes more brave and less cautious when she is outside and doing work. She gets very involved with the planning and fighting, and shows that she would do anything to save her friends. "(She) seemed delicate and timid, but she had a determination, there was a spirit to her." (Pg. 266)


At the start of the novel, Robyn is an innocent Christian girl who promised to never hold a weapon or kill anyone. She is very quiet and serious and doesn't like swearing or bad behaviour. "I always thought of Robyn as fairly quiet and serious." (Pg. 13) At the end of the novel, she has to kill people in order to save her friends, which makes her feel extremely guilty. "I'm not sure what's right or wrong in this whole setup." (Pg. 239) She ends up not being as innocent as she was at the start of the novel and gets very involved with the fighting. "Strong in her beliefs." (Pg. 284)


At the start of the novel, Lee is very quiet and basically keeps everything to himself. He doesn't socialise very much or have many friends, and doesn't really know the rest of the group, apart from Ellie. Throughout the novel, he gains confidence and is quite talkative, especially with Ellie. He gets involved with the planning of their guerilla attacks on the invading army and becomes very good and close friends with the rest of the group. "He was good at most things, but he could be annoying when things went against him." (Pg. 15) "He became outspoken, he started smiling and laughing." (Pg. 254)

Prediction: what is going to happen next?

I predict that Ellie and her friends are going to have to stay in hiding for a while longer, while the war continues. I predict that they will spend most of their time planning and organising more guerilla attacks on the invading army, defeating them slightly more each time. They will have to think of tactics that the army hasn't thought of, to be smarter than the army, because they don't have as many weapons, resources; such as food, or people as the enemy has. I predict that eventually they will win, but with a lot of sacrifices to themselves. I predict that they will have to make some really hard decisions about who they might have to save in the Showground, if they cannot save everyone.