A dramatic picture book for older readers that poses the question what would happen if a typical Australian family found themselves refugees?
Mum is a rehab counselor for people with alcohol problems. Grandma Raynor lives next door. Dad is a driver for Elgas. Then there s me, fifteen, into a lot of different stuff. Music, surfing, animals, tennis, swimming, computer games. And my sister, Claire, and brother Toby. We re a typical Australian family. Barbeques, footy, gardening, school, Holden Commodores Then one day things change.
April 26, Dad burns the toast, yells at Toby, thanks me for cleaning the cab of the truck, kisses Mum and Toby, then he s gone
April 27, the war starts
May 21, the city s in ruins, blackouts nearly all the time, food is hard to find
September 13, Dad s hears news of a boat. We might get out of here yet
September 28, it's just after dawn. A boat from their Navy has found us. We wave and cry and cheer. But then, slowly, we realise they are shouting at us, telling us to go away
September 30, we are in a huge prison, with razor wire all around us. The government says there s no room for us. The Prime Minister says that if they let us out into the community it ll just encourage other illegal immigrants. The Deputy Prime Minister says we re not genuine refugees. The Minister for Immigration says we should have gone through the proper procedures and applied to come here the prescribed way. Apparently there was a queue or a waiting list or something, and we were meant to find an Immigration Office and put our names down to be considered. I guess they re right. I feel terrible about the trouble we've caused them.
About the Author
John Marsden is Australia's bestselling author for teenagers and a highly acclaimed picture book writer. His titles include Winter, The Head Book, The Boy You Brought Home and Millie.
John Marsden lives at the Tye Estate, just outside of Melbourne, where he opened a school called Candlebark in January 2006. The school currently has 52 students, ranging from Prep to Year 7.
For Ages: 13+ years old
Number Of Pages: 48
Published: 11th September 2008
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Dimensions (cm): 25.7 x 23.6 x 0.9
Weight (kg): 0.37