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About the book
  • Published: 3 October 2005
  • ISBN: 9781741660920
  • Imprint: Random House Australia Children's
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $22.99

The Story Of Tom Brennan

A powerful story of love and loss, secrets and revelations - and making sense of a past that once seemed perfect.

For Tom Brennan, life is about rugby, mates and family - until a night of celebration changes his life forever. Tom's world explodes as his brother Daniel is sent to jail and the Brennans are forced to leave the small town Tom's lived in his whole life. Tom is a survivor, but he needs a ticket out of the past just as much as Daniel. He will find it in many forms . . .

A Teaching Support Kit is available at www.randomhouse.com.au/teachers

  • Pub date: 3 October 2005
  • ISBN: 9781741660920
  • Imprint: Random House Australia Children's
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

J.C. Burke

J.C. Burke was born in Sydney in 1965, the fourth of five sisters. With writers for parents, she grew up in a world of noise, drama and books, but she decided to become a nurse after her mother lost a long battle with cancer. Since Burke started writing in 1999, she has published a number of acclaimed books for teenagers and young adults, including Children's Book Council Notable Books White Lies and The Red Cardigan, Aurealis Awards finalist Nine Letters Long, The Story of Tom Brennan, Faking Sweet, Starfish Sisters, Ocean Pearl, Pig Boy and Pretty Girl. The Story of Tom Brennan won the 2006 CBC Book of the Year - Older Readers and the 2006 Australian Family Therapists Award for Children's Literature and it is currently on the NSW HSC syllabus list. Pig Boy won the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction in 2012. Jane lives in Sydney with her family.

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Praise for The Story Of Tom Brennan

“*** Winner of the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year - Older Readers 2006 ***”

“Winner of the Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature (Novel) 2006”

“‘A must read for all teens’ David Koch, Channel 7 Sunrise”

“' . . . a tragic tale told with sensitivity and skill. Burke's latest novel is beautifully moody, with intense sorrow soothed by instances of love and humour. The story is immediately alluring . . . Burke has delicately crafted the story to give only a little at a time, building up the intensity and creating a palpable sense of the Brennan family's grief, shame and confusion.' Angie Schiavone, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 19 August 2006”

“'From my small town childhood and youth I can vouch for the verisimilitude of the events that course through THE STORY OF TOM BRENNAN … JC Burke is right on the money. It is a memorable book. Through the eyes of Tom Brennan she has convincingly related an all too common experience but she also manages to draw light out of the darkness. At a time when communities and government are searching for ways of reducing road trauma among youth following recent horrific road carnage, this is indeed a timely novel.' Kevin Steinberger, Viewpoint 13 (4) Summer 2005”

“‘Burke gently probes the pain suffered by Tom and his family and uncovers, realistically, some of what goes on behind the headlines.” AB&P”

“'This book by J.C. Burke was a great book. I could hardly put it down. I especially like the flow of the book, especially how it starts off slow and works its way up to a fast pace.' Robere Rahme, age 13, Random House Book Buddies Club”

“'I particularly liked the way the story about the accident was revealed bit by bit, rather than all at once. It ... helped to build suspense and to make me want to keep reading … This was not an easy book to read because the subject matter is fairly confronting ... However, it is probably a very worthwhile book for teenagers to read, since it delivers an important message about the dangers of drink driving.' Christian Sexty, age 14, Random House Book Buddies Club”

“'The author's way with words is terrific, and I felt [she] portrayed the character of Tom excellently ... It was very realistic, with Tom's mum not being able to get out of bed, and the author didn't try to make anyone a hero, [she] just tried to portray the different people's emotions accurately. I enjoyed it immensely.’ Alexis Killoran, age 15, Random House Book Buddies Club”

Awards & Recognition

  • Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature

    Winner • 2006 • Novel

  • Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year

    Winner • 2006 • Older Readers

  • National Children's Peace Literature Award

    Shortlisted • 2007 • National Children’s Peace Literature Award

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