Study Guide

Tomorrow, When the War Began Love

By John Marsden


Throbbing hearts and passionate embraces might not seem like they'd have much place in a book about war, but Tomorrow, When the War Began has all different types of action in it (wink, wink; nudge, nudge). Yes, we're talking about romance—after all, there's a group of hot-blooded teenagers hiding out in the woods together with nary an adult in sight. So of course there's romance. To be fair, though, this isn't the only type of love that crops up in the book. Just as war is complex, so is love, and we also see it between the teens and their families, as well as between friends.

Questions About Love

  1. Why does Ellie decide to give Lee a chance? Why is she conflicted about Lee?
  2. How does Ellie show her love for her friends? What does this tell you about Ellie? Be specific and give evidence from the text.
  3. Would the kids fight back if their families weren't in jeopardy? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Without the love they have for their families, the teens would have no reason to fight.

The real role romance plays in this text is to remind readers that these are teens—as we watch Ellie grapple with her feelings for Homer and Lee, we're reminded how inexperienced she still is, making the task of navigating war all the greater.