Study Guide

Tomorrow, When the War Began Chapter 17

By John Marsden

Chapter 17

  • The four scouts—Robyn, Kevin, Corrie, and Chris—return safely from town. Too tired to tell anyone much, they make it clear that everyone's family is probably safe in the Showground, which is—duh—great news.
  • After breakfast, Ellie thinks about Chris's swiped goods: alcohol and cigarettes. Great, now Ellie is confused about his morality. And he is supposed to be a good guy.
  • Robyn, the new leader of the scout group, tells them her tale of the trip. Here's the short version: They didn't see anyone's families, but they were told they are safe in the Showground; the prisoners are well cared for and exceedingly well fed (they even bake fresh bread each morning); prisoners are sent out in small, heavily-guarded groups to clean up the messes from fighting and work in the hospital; Ellie seems to have killed four people during their initial getaway run; there are a few other groups of people who haven't been captured; a few dozen people have been killed.
  • During their trip, the scouting group set up a fake camp at the Masonic Lodge, then they hid in Robyn's piano teacher's house, where soldiers came by with civilian workers who were being forced to clean out people's houses. They managed to speak to a few of them, which is how they learned about everyone's families and such. At another house, though, Robyn was almost caught by a soldier while talking to a civilian prisoner, so they decided not to gather any more info this way.
  • The highway is in heavy use by the military and a key way supplies are coming in for soldiers.
  • When the scouts went to check out the Showground, they found it too well-defended and lit up to spy on.
  • After Robyn's report, they play a little game about who would hold which political office if they were the only free people left—Ellie is very happy about getting poet laureate.
  • Kevin tells them his plan for meat: ferrets and rabbits.
  • They hit the hay.