Marsden, John 1950-
MARSDEN, John 1950-
PERSONAL: Born September 27, 1950, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; son of Eustace Cullen Hudson (a banker) and Jeanne Lawler (a homemaker; maiden name, Ray) Marsden. Ethnicity: "Anglo-Australian." Education: Mitchell College, diploma in teaching, 1978; University of New England, B.A., 1981. Hobbies and other interests: Conservation.
ADDRESSES: Home—R.M.B. 1250, Romsey, Victoria 3434, Australia. Agent—Jill Grinberg, Anderson Grinberg Literary Management, 266 West 23rd St., New York, NY 10011.
CAREER: Geelong Grammar School, Geelong, Victoria, Australia, English teacher, 1982-90; writer, 1991—; primary school teacher, c. 1995. Worked at various jobs, including truck driver, hospital worker, and delivery person, c. 1968-77.
AWARDS, HONORS: Children's Book of the Year Award, Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA), 1988, Premier's Award (Victoria, Australia), 1988, Young Adult Book Award (New South Wales, Australia), 1988, Alan Marshall Award, 1988, Christopher Award, 1989, KOALA (Kids Own Australian Literature Awards), 1989, Notable Book, American Library Association, 1989, and COOL Award (Canberra's Own Outstanding List), 1995, all for So Much to Tell You …; Writers' Fellowship, Australia Council, 1993; Australian Multicultural Children's Book Award, 1994, YABBA (Young Australians Best Book Award), 1995, WAYRBA (West Australian Young Readers' Books Award), 1995, KOALA Award, 1995, COOL Award, 1996 and 2001, BILBY Award (Books I Love Best Yearly), 1998, CYBER Award (Children's Yearly Best Ever Reads), 2000, and New South Wales Talking Book Award, all for Tomorrow, When the War Began; Grand Jury Prize for Australia's favorite young person's novel, 1996, for Letters from the Inside; New South Wales Talking Book Award, and CYBER Award, both for The Dead of Night; Book of the Year Award, Australian Booksellers Association, 1998, and WAYRBA Award, 1999, both for Burning for Revenge; WAYRBA Award, 1998, COOL Award, 1999, and Buxtehude Bulle (Germany), 2000, all for The Third Day, the Frost; KOALA Award, 1999, for Cool School: You Make It Happen; Children's Book of the Year Award, CBCA, 1999, for The Rabbits; COOL Award, and WAYRBA Award, both 2000, both for The Night Is for Hunting.
for young adults
So Much to Tell You …, Walter McVitty (Glebe, Australia), 1988, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1989, stage adaptation by the author published as So Much to Tell You: The Play, Walter McVitty (Montville, Australia), 1994.
The Journey, Pan (Sydney, Australia), 1988.
The Great Gatenby, Pan (Sydney, Australia), 1989.
Staying Alive in Year Five, Piper (Sydney, Australia), 1989.
Out of Time, Pan (Sydney, Australia), 1990.
Letters from the Inside, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1991, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1994.
Take My Word for It: Lisa's Journal, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1992.
Looking for Trouble, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1993.
Cool School: You Make It Happen, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1995.
Checkers, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1996, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1998.
Creep Street: You Make It Happen, Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1996.
Dear Miffy, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1997.
Winter, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 2000, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.
Millie, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 2002.
"tomorrow, when the war began" series
Tomorrow, When the War Began, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1993, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995.
The Dead of Night, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1994, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1997.
The Third Day, the Frost, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1995, published as A Killing Frost, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1998.
Darkness, Be My Friend, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1996, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1999.
Burning for Revenge, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1997, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2000.
The Night Is for Hunting, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1998, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2001.
The Other Side of Dawn, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1999, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2002.
While I Live: The Ellie Linton Chronicles, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 2003.
nonfiction, except as noted
Everything I Know about Writing (nonfiction), Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1993.
(Editor) This I Believe: Over 100 Eminent Australians Explore Life's Big Questions (essays), Random House (Milsons Point, Australia), 1996.
(Editor) For Weddings and a Funeral (poetry), Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1996.
Secret Men's Business: Manhood: The Big Gig (nonfiction), Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1998.
Marsden on Marsden: The Stories behind John Marsden's Bestselling Books, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 2000.
The Head Book, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 2001.
The Boy You Brought Home: A Single Mother's Guide to Raising Sons, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 2002.
A Day in the Life of Me, Lothian Books (Port Melbourne, Australia), 2002.
Prayer for the Twenty-first Century, Lothian (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1997, Star Bright Books (New York, NY), 1998, also published as Message for the Twenty-first Century, Ticktock (Tonbridge, England), 1999.
Norton's Hut, illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe, Lothian Books (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1998, Star Bright Books (New York, NY), 1999.
The Rabbits, illustrated by Shaun Tan, Lothian Books (Port Melbourne, Australia), 1998.
Contributor to Goodnight & Thanks for the Teeth: A Fairies' Tale, Pan Macmillan (Sydney, Australia), 1999.
ADAPTATIONS: The Journey was adapted into an opera of the same name and published by the Australian Music Centre (Grosvenor Place, Australia), 1999.
SIDELIGHTS: John Marsden is one of the most popular writers for teens in Australia and the author of the critically acclaimed "Tomorrow, When the War Began" series. The reasons for Marsden's international fame are twofold, claim critics. First, he is known for not talking down to his audience, fully aware that for many teenagers, life is bleak, challenging, and dangerous. Second, he is applauded for his ability to craft exciting adventure stories in which the young protagonists are called to adult action—with all its moral and ethical implications. This is particularly the case in the "Tomorrow, When the War Began" series, in which a group of teens engage in a guerilla war against a vastly superior force that has occupied Australia. Noting that Marsden's titles "have consistently met with overwhelming critical and commercial success," Horn Book reviewer Karen Jameyson concluded: "Marsden has always touted the importance of writing honestly, of not shielding the young from topics that some might see as too depressing or shocking. And this frankness and honesty have clearly struck a chord with young adults."
Marsden debunked some of the myths of his native Australia in an essay he wrote for the Something about the Author Autobiography Series (SAAS). "Growing up in Australia wasn't a matter of kangaroos, surf-boards, and the wild outback," he said. "Not for me, anyway. My childhood was spent in the quiet country towns in the green southern states of Victoria and Tasmania. It was peaceful, secure, and often very boring." Marsden's father managed a bank, a responsibility he held for forty-eight years. This had a marked yet contrary effect on the young Marsden. He related: "Perhaps one of the things I've done in my adult life is to react against that kind of commitment. At the latest count, I've had thirty-two different jobs."
Growing up in small Australian towns during the 1950s gave Marsden experiences that were quite different from children in urban America during the same era. In Marsden's village, ice was still delivered to people for their iceboxes, cooking was mainly done on stoves powered by fuel, and no one he knew owned a television set. "I first saw television when I was ten years old. In our small Tasmanian town, an electrical shop brought in a TV and put it in their window for the wedding of Princess Margaret. On the great day, the whole town gathered in front of the shop and the set was switched on. All we saw was 'snow'—grey and white static, with a few figures vaguely visible through the murk," Marsden wrote in SAAS.
Marsden was too infatuated with literature to care if his family had a television. "I read and read and read," he commented. "When I ran out of books for boys I read the girls' books…. Some days, I'd borrow three titles (the maximum allowed) from the town library, read them, and get them back to the library by five o'clock, in time to exchange them for three more before the library shut. I'd become a speed reader without really trying!" Marsden also found another pastime that was to help him with his later writing. "My favourite game was to draw a town layout on the driveway with chalk and use little model cars to bring the town to life. Perhaps that's how I first became used to creating and living in imaginary worlds," he recalled in SAAS.
Marsden became such a lover of books that by the time he was in grade three, he had memorized The Children of Cherry Tree Farm. His teacher would use him when she wanted to take a break. "She'd have me stand up in front of the class and recite the next chapter to the other kids … from memory. She'd go off to the staff room and leave me there. I loved it! Maybe that's where I got my first taste of the power of storytelling."
That school year was also a difficult one for Marsden. His teacher would fly into rages and yell at the children. She believed in corporal punishment and would cane the children for the slightest disobedience. Each Friday, the teacher would give the class a ten-question quiz; if a student failed to answer at least seven questions correctly, he was beaten. "Recently, I met up with a girl who'd been in that class with me," Marsden related. "As she talked about those Friday tests, she started to tremble with the memories. At the age of forty-four, she was still haunted by her grade-three days." When Marsden was promoted to the next grade, he was rewarded in two ways. His teacher was much more nurturing, and she saw in him the seeds of a writer, letting him edit the school paper. "This was my first taste of publication," he told SAAS. "It was a heady experience. Seeing my name in print, having people—even adults—reacting to and commenting on what I'd written was powerful stuff."
At the age of ten, Marsden moved with his family to Sydney. Having mainly grown up in country towns, he was fascinated by the switch from rural to urban life. "I thought Sydney was huge and exotic, and wildly exciting," Marsden commented. "I spent my first week collecting bus tickets, to the amusement of the staff in the hotel where we stayed. Riding on the escalators was as good as Disneyland."
Marsden's parents enrolled him at King's School, a prestigious private school that was run like a military establishment. There was very little Marsden liked about the place, from the stuffy uniforms to the military drills they were required to perform. He also felt out of touch with happenings in the world. "The rest of the Western world was embarking on a decade of drugs, free love, and the Beatles, but at King's, boys continued to salute their teachers, drill with rifles for hours every week, and stand to attention when speaking to prefects." Marsden spent his time in somewhat subversive activities. He wrote short books with plots that were stolen from famous mystery novels, distributed his underground newspaper about new rock bands, and read books under his desk during class.
At the time, Marsden found that there was very little literature written for adolescents. He read adult literature but was quite taken aback by his first experience with J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, a classic coming-of-age story that was—and still is— controversial. The book "had me gasping for breath," Marsden commented in SAAS. "I'd never dreamt you were allowed to write like that…. For the first time I was reading a genuine, contemporary teenage voice. If I've had any success at capturing teenage voices on paper, it's because of what I learnt at the age of fifteen from J. D. Salinger."
School had very little settling influence on Marsden. He continued being a rebel despite the conservative atmosphere. "I began to question everything: religion, education, law, parenting. All the institutions and customs that I'd been taught to accept unquestioningly," he related to SAAS. It is of little surprise that when Marsden graduated from King's he had not received any military awards or promotions. He did, however, win some academic prizes, including one for a 40,000-word essay on poets of World War I.
After graduating, Marsden enrolled at the University of Sydney but soon lost interest in his studies and dropped out. He then tried his hand at many exotic jobs. He told SAAS that some of his employment included "collecting blood, looking after a mortuary at nights, working in a side-show, being a night clerk in the casualty department of Sydney Hospital, and guarding Australia's oldest house from vandals." Marsden's interest in these occupations, however, generally waned rather quickly. "Once I mastered a job, I got bored with it and started restlessly looking for the next challenge. Maybe that was a reaction to the boredom of my early life and the tedium of most of my years in schools."
Marsden continued to write and submitted a novel to a publisher that was rejected. He drifted from job to job, yet somehow succeeded in finishing the first year of a law school course. However, he slipped into a deep depression and ended up in a psychiatric institution, where he met a fourteen-year-old girl who would not speak to anyone. Marsden wondered about this, and on the girl's last day at the institution, he got to talk to her. The girl's plight became the inspiration for Marsden's novel So Much to Tell You….
At the age of twenty-seven, bored with his latest promotion to a desk job at a delivery company, Marsden saw a newspaper advertisement about teaching classes and decided to apply. "I'd always had a vague idea that I might enjoy teaching, but then I'd had the same vague ideas about other jobs and they hadn't worked out…. From the very first day, however, I knew I'd found my vocation." Marsden soon had a position teaching at Geelong Grammar School, a very famous Australian school. After several years of teaching, he was encouraged to resume writing.
Marsden told SAAS that during a school holiday "I sat down and started to write. I made two decisions that turned out to be critical. One was to use the diary format, the other was to aim it at teenage readers. These two decisions seemed to free me to write more fluently than before. I worked in an intensity of emotion, a state that I often slip into when writing." On the very last day of his vacation, Marsden finished the book. He sent it off to a variety of publishers but received only negative responses. Luckily, a chance meeting with a bookseller helped Marsden get the manuscript into the right hands.
So Much to Tell You … focuses on a mute girl who is sent to a special boarding school rather than a psychiatric hospital. The girl has been physically scarred in an accident. Readers get to know her through her diary entries, where her secrets are gradually revealed: her father scarred her with acid that was meant to injure her mother. One of the girl's teachers is able to break into her silent world, and at the end of the novel, there is the hope that she will begin coming out of her isolation. The book caught on quickly and soon became an Australian bestseller. "A good proportion of the first print run was bought by my students, who were smart enough to know how to improve their grades in English," Marsden joked.
Many reviewers offered favorable comments about So Much to Tell You…. Jo Goodman, writing in Mag pies, declared that the book was "a riveting first novel which grips the reader from the start," adding: "I found the observation and the characters authentic, the suspense gripping, and the slow and subtle revelation of the truth both painful and illuminating." School Library Journal contributor Libby K. White asserted: "Marsden is a master storyteller." I. V. Hansen, commenting in Children's Literature in Education, claimed that the novel offers "a moving story, tragic, simple, generous, tender. It is the kind of novel that seems to come from nowhere, yet we know it has been with us all the time."
In The Journey, Marsden builds a fable around adolescent coming-of-age rituals. In this tale, a society sends its adolescents on a journey of self-discovery; the youths return with seven stories of experience and enlightenment. The local council then judges whether the stories are sufficient to allow the youths to pass into adulthood. Margot Nelmes commented in Reading Time that "this is a rare book, fortifying to the spirit, gripping, and worthy of reading more than once."
Marsden turned to lighter works with the publication of The Great Gatenby and Staying Alive in Year Five. The Great Gatenby is about the popular but reckless Erle Gatenby, who causes trouble wherever he goes. Staying Alive in Year Five offers one boy's perspective on his class's experience with an unusual teacher named Mr. Merlin. Reading Time reviewer Halina Nowicka termed Staying Alive "a really good, humorous story."
Marsden's Letters from the Inside and Dear Miffy have evoked controversy. Letters from the Inside centers around two girls, Mandy and Tracy, who have become pen pals. After a few exchanges of letters, Tracy reveals that she is actually serving time in a maximum security prison. Mandy admits that her brother is quite violent, and the end of the novel alludes to the fact that Mandy might have been attacked by him. In Reading Time, Ashley Freeman called Letters from the Inside a "compelling story, which totally involves the reader." Other critics were alarmed by the manner in which Marsden presented the subject of domestic violence. Elizabeth Gleick contended in the New York Times Book Review that the book "might be faulted for one reason and one reason alone: it offers not the palest glimmer of hope."
Dear Miffy, which features a jacket notice warning that its contents "may offend some readers," has engendered a similar reaction. In this novel, institutionalized teenager Tony, who comes from a broken home and a working-class environment, writes to his girlfriend, Miffy, a beautiful girl from a wealthy and very troubled family. Tony's letters, which are never mailed, recount their relationship from its turbulent beginnings through its tragic conclusion. Dear Miffy is filled with violence, sex, and profanity set against a backdrop of corruption, injustice, and dysfunctional families. Discussing the controversy surrounding the work in Horn Book, Jameyson wrote: "In inevitable parallel with the U.S. discussion about The Chocolate War, [critics] point out that the shades of gray in this book are so dark as to be unrealistic. Surely no life can be so dismal; surely no group of characters can be so totally lacking in redeeming features; surely no slice of life can be so void of … hope." Other commentators have rallied to Marsden's support, however, commending his forthright treatment of difficult subjects and his capacity to endow his protagonists with an authentic teenage voice.
Marsden's best known work, the "Tomorrow, When the War Began" series, has made him an international writer of renown. The multivolume series begins with a simple premise. A small group of Australian teens returns from a camping trip in the bush to discover that, in their absence, Australia has been invaded and occupied by an enemy force. The politics behind the war is kept deliberately vague as the teens themselves decide to do what they can to help push the invaders from Australian soil. The plot thickens quickly because this is not fantasy or science fiction; it is a plausible, realistic adventure saga in which the young heroes face life-threatening situations and respond to them in very human ways. Marsden told SAAS that the series was born from one of his own childhood fantasies, "of a world without adults, a world in which the adults had magically disappeared and the kids were left to run the place."
The first book in the series, Tomorrow, When the War Began, introduces the narrator, Ellie Linton, and the mixed-gender group of friends who will join her to fight the war. Returning from a camping trip in a canyon they have nicknamed "Hell," Ellie and her friends discover that everyone in their town has been captured, and they must fend for themselves. Quickly, the group organizes to resist the invaders, blowing up a lawn mower to kill one soldier. Theirs is not the mindless violence of a video game, however. Each character reacts to the trauma of war and displacement differently, and Ellie is only one of the teens who struggles with the ethics of killing on one hand and the grip of mortal fear on the other. Horn Book contributor Maeve Visser Knoth described Tomorrow, When the War Began as "a riveting adventure through which Marsden explores the capacity for evil and the necessity of working together to oppose it."
Subsequent volumes in the series have generated a high level of excitement among the author's fans. Marsden has said that he wanted all of his "Tomorrow, When the War Began" books to have the same level of style and execution that the first one had. Judging by the reaction of some reviewers, he has succeeded in that goal. The Dead of Night and The Third Day, the Frost further the story of the teenagers as the war in their country continues. Reviewing The Dead of Night for Voice of Youth Advocates, Alice F. Stern commented: "If you hope for a plot with any closure, you will not find it here. What you will find is a strong adventure story, a little romance, and an excellent psychological study." Horn Book reviewer Jennifer M. Brabander praised The Dead of Night as "riveting," citing favorably the depth of Marsden's characters and adding: "Thoughtful explorations of the nature of fear, bravery, and violence—natural conversations during wartime—add depth and balance to the edge-of-the-seat action and intense first-person narration."
By the time Burning for Revenge appeared, Marsden was a celebrity with a shelf full of Australian awards, most of them voted upon by his teenaged readers. Burning for Revenge lifted him into another category altogether. This novel, in which Ellie, Fi, Kevin, Homer, and Lee launch an attack on an airfield and try to civilize a gang of feral children, won the prestigious Book of the Year Award from the Australian Booksellers Association. What made this award particularly special was that Marsden's work was judged not against other young adult novels, but against adult fiction—and he won. He is the first children's author ever to win that particular citation. In her School Library Journal review of Burning for Revenge, Susie Paige noted that the characters "are so believable that readers forget that the story is fiction." Calling Marsden "a master at creating tension and excitement," Booklist critic Frances Bradburn declared Burning for Revenge "riveting."
"Tomorrow, When the War Began" found its conclusion in the seventh novel, The Other Side of Dawn, in which Ellie and her surviving friends finally find reunion with their loved ones after a final, climactic battle. A Kirkus Reviews critic predicted that the many fans of the series worldwide "will be sorry to reach their final chapter in such an outstanding story of friendship, courage, and survival." Fortunately, those legions of readers need not part with Ellie entirely— Marsden has commenced a new, postwar series also featuring the courageous narrator.
Marsden has written numerous other titles in tandem with his series. The Rabbits and Norton's Hut are picture books, but their intended audience is not necessarily children. Norton's Hut is a ghost story about a group of hikers caught out by a blizzard and the strange, silent fellow who shares his home with them during the storm. The Rabbits is an allegory of the European conquest of Australia, using the metaphor of the destructive rabbit population that has been such a plague to the continent. "This book is a title to jolt readers," Jameyson said in her Horn Book review of The Rabbits. "There is no doubt as to the writer's intentions: to sober, sadden, and provoke."
Marsden's novels Checkers and Winter each feature female protagonists at odds with the adults around them. The heroine of Checkers tells her tale from a mental hospital to which she has been sent after a nervous breakdown. Bit by bit, the character reveals the events that led to a family crisis, brought on by her father's unethical business practices. Booklist critic Shelle Rosenfeld called Checkers a "fascinating, intricately woven novel" notable for its "strong psychological exploration." In Voice of Youth Advocates, Gloria Grover also characterized Checkers as "an emotionally compelling story."
The protagonist in Winter is strong and determined— and she needs to be. Sixteen-year-old Winter returns alone to her estate, Warriewood, to find it neglected and ransacked by those who were paid to care for it. She sets about restoring the home, in the process becoming a detective to discover the real truth behind her parents' deaths when she was four. Winter is hardly a pushover. She takes charge of her life and does not let an adult conspiracy keep her from finding out what she needs to know. In School Library Journal, Miranda Doyle concluded that youthful readers would "especially enjoy the ferocity with which Winter stands up to the adults who try to take advantage of her." A Kirkus Reviews critic found Winter to be "an appealingly gutsy narrator who keeps the story moving."
"I imagine I'll always be writing, all my life, because there is something within me that needs to tell stories," Marsden related to SAAS. "The other passion of my life is the preservation of life. The older I get, the more disturbed I get by the wanton destruction of other creatures by humans…. I hope I continue to improve in my treatment of my fellow creatures, be they animal or vegetable."
Marsden makes no apologies for the sensitive issues he covers in his fiction, or the fact that his stories are not always happily resolved. He told Horn Book contributor Jameyson, "I keep reminding myself I'm not writing for babies. These are people who in any other culture or any other time would be treated as full adults."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Authors and Artists for Young Adults, Volume 20, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1997.
Children's Literature Review, Volume 34, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1995.
St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers, 2nd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.
Something about the Author Autobiography Series, Volume 22, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1996, pp. 169-185.
Twentieth-Century Young Adult Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1994.
Booklist, May 15, 1998, Frances Bradburn, review of A Killing Frost, p. 1617; October 15, 1998, Shelle Rosenfeld, review of Checkers, p. 412; June 1, 1999, Roger Leslie, review of Darkness, Be My Friend, p. 1814; October 1, 2000, Frances Bradburn, review of Burning for Revenge, p. 332.
Children's Literature in Education, September, 1989, I. V. Hansen, "In Context: Some Recent Australian Writing for Adolescents," pp. 151-163.
Horn Book, July-August, 1995, Maeve Visser Knoth, review of Tomorrow, When the War Began, p. 467; September-October, 1997, Karen Jameyson, "Contents May Offend Some Readers," pp. 549-552, and Jennifer M. Brabander, review of The Dead of Night, pp. 575-576; May, 1999, Karen Jameyson, "Brush Strokes with History," p. 364; November-December, 2002, Jennifer M. Brabander, review of The Other Side of Dawn, p. 762.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2001, review of The Night Is for Hunting, p. 1216; July 1, 2002, review of Winter, p. 958; August 15, 2002, review of The Other Side of Dawn, p. 1229.
Magpies, March, 1988, Jo Goodman, review of So Much to Tell You …, p. 30.
New York Times Book Review, November 13, 1994, Elizabeth Gleick, review of Letters from the Inside, p. 29.
Publishers Weekly, May 25, 1998, review of Prayer for the Twenty-first Century, p. 88; September 7, 1998, review of Checkers, p. 96; August 26, 2002, Elizabeth Devereaux, "Bestseller Down Under," p. 70.
Reading Time, Volume 33, number 2, Margot Nelmes, review of The Journey, p. 28; Volume 33, number 4, Halina Nowicka, review of Staying Alive in Year Five, p. 24; Volume 35, number 4, 1991, Ashley Freeman, review of Letters from the Inside, p. 32.
School Library Journal, May, 1989, Libby K. White, review of So Much to Tell You …, p. 127; October, 2000, Susie Paige, review of Burning for Revenge, p. 166; August, 2002, Miranda Doyle, review of Winter, p. 194.
Voice of Youth Advocates, February, 1998, Alice F. Stern, review of The Dead of Night, p. 387; December, 1998, Gloria Grover, review of Checkers, p. 356.
John Marsden Home Page, http://www.johnmarsden.com/ (December 20, 2003).