John Marsden is Australia s most popular writer of young adult fiction. His books have sold more than a million copies worldwide and he has won, or been short-listed for, every major award for young adult literature in Australia, including the Children s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year, the National Children s Book awards and numerous children s choice awards. The gripping war series, which began with TOMORROW WHEN THE WAR BEGAN, has broken all sales records for young adult fiction and was recently released as a feature film. SO MUCH TO TELL YOU, originally published in 1987, was his first young adult novel.
Gr 7-9-- Marina, a 14 year old living at a boarding school in Australia, has been facially disfigured under circumstances which are gradually revealed. Since that terrible event, she has not spoken. An English teacher makes diary writing a class assignment; the diary, this novel, becomes Marina's ``voice.'' Still, she remains withdrawn and nurses a great bitterness toward the world. Initially, she rejects the overtures of her dorm mates. With time, she shares in group responsibilities and discovers that her dorm mates--even the ``golden'' ones--have problems. Eventually, Marina is able to accept affection, friendship, and her own growing interest in school and social life. As the novel's pace quickens, she confronts her feelings toward her father, who had intended to attack his unfaithful wife with acid; Marina was the mistaken victim. Marina realizes that, despite everything, she feels forgiveness and compassion for her father. Marsden is a master storyteller. His characterizations--especially of young people--are interesting and believable. The descriptions of the girls' relationships are humorous and moving. There are faint echoes here of Richard D'Ambrosio's No Language But a Cry. (Dell , 1971), a popular nonfiction YA title. This is an intelligent work of literature which is satisfying both intellectually and emotionally. --Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, N.Y.
'Marsden's work is stunning. Its impact is permanent. Must read.' [ENGLISH JOURNAL (USA)]