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A gripping story that brings to life one of Australia’s World War I military victories.

A gripping story that brings to life one of Australia’s World War I military victories.

Frankie and Taz didn't think about killing, or dying, when they lied about their age to join the Australian army. They thought the war was going to be a big adventure. Now they're marching to the front.

Richard is another sixteen-year-old heading to war. He's inside the massive German tank Mephisto as it powers towards the battle lines at Villers-Bretonneux, France.

The other side have their tanks ready too. War is about to change forever . . .

Based on true stories of the world's first tank-versus-tank battle and what it was like to be an underage soldier in World War I, Tank Boys follows Frankie, Taz and Richard's footsteps as they take part in what will become one of the decisive battles of the war.

What will happen when the boys meet as enemies on the battlefield?


Tank Boys is an engrossing, but at times distressing story of courage, mateship, innocence and heroism. Boys aged 12 to 16 would revel in this superbly crafted story, composed with a mix of plenty of amiable, youthful humour.

Joan Kerr-Smith, readplus.com.au

A warm, human story that also accurately portrays the dangers and difficulties of the crews trying to manoeuvre these crude, early tanks in a new, untested style of fighting. Stephen Dando-Collins brings the ugliness, uncertainty and sheer misery of the gas attacks, the artillery bombardments and mindless bloodletting of the World War I killing fields, poignantly to life, with the actions of the novel’s fictional characters credibly intertwined with those of real soldiers who fought in this great tank battle. His writing style effectively and authentically conveys the tenuous strength of human decency amidst the senselessness of that epic slaughter. Upper primary to junior secondary readers would thoroughly enjoy this novel.

Russ Merrin, Magpies

Expertly weaves fiction and fact into an addictive whole


The movement-to-movement, scene-to-scene descriptions are so visual, I felt I was watching a movie. The characters' voices came through so clearly that all my senses were engaged on every page, and in every chapter. Author/historian Stephen Dando-Collins has recreated a monumental time in history.

Susan Whelan, http://www.kids-bookreview.com

I loved this book because it was exciting and had me on the edge of my seat. It’s based on a true story of the world’s first tank-versus-tank battle in World War I, and I recommend it for everyone.

George Murrihy, age 12, Herald Sun

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    February 3, 2014

    Random House Australia Children's

    304 pages

    RRP $21.99

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • EBook


    February 3, 2014

    RHA eBooks Child

    304 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ

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