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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2009 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in Young Adult literature.

A highly anticipated follow-up from the best-selling author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca, both highly acclaimed productions available from Bolinda Audio.

Taylor Markham is now a senior at the Jellicoe School, and has been made leader of the boarders. She is responsible for keeping the upper hand in the territory wars with the townies, and the cadets who camp on the edge of the school's property over summer. She has to keep her students safe and the territories enforced and to deal with Jonah Griggs - the leader of the cadets and someone she'd rather forget. But what she needs to do, more than anything, is unravel the mystery of her past and find her mother - who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road six years before. The only connection to her past, Hannah, the woman who found her, has now disappeared, too, and he only clue Taylor has about Hannah and her mother's past is a partially written manuscript about a group of five kids from the Jellicoe School, 20 years ago.

©2008 Melina Marchetta; (P)2006 Bolinda Publishing

Critic Reviews

2009 American Library Association Michael L. Printz Award, for excellence in literature written by young adults.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
  • Dorothea
  • Willow, AK, United States
  • 07-05-11

Strange but good

Where to start? This story was very confusing at first, but I expected that because I had an advanced warning. The story went back and forth between telling the story of a present day situation with a bunch of kids to an older story of a bunch of kids. The similarity being the place they were located, Jellicoe Road, in Australia. Jellicoe Road reminds me of a summer camps where they have kids who live in the camp and then bring in kids from the neighboring town and then bus kids in from wherever else. The three groups have mini battles of control and territory, but all in a nice way (or at least it is supposed to be in a nice way.) Most of the kids that live at the Jellicoe Road school seem to have some emotional dysfunction or other problems they are dealing with, like both parents getting killed or pyromaniac tendencies. The main character, Taylor, is a Jellicoe Road resident. She is a bit unstable and has huge gaps in her memory and is constantly trying to figure out how to get back to her Mother who had abandoned her when she was 11.
Toward the end of the story, I did decide that I liked the book, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. (I am a hot chocolate drinker.)

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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BUY THIS BOOK NOW!

Recipe for a perfect audiobook: a mind bogglingly good book mixed with an amazing narrator. There is no way to over recommend On the Jellicoe Road. If you are in doubt, please give it a chance. You will not regret it. I loved every minute.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Difficult Start, Great Ending

Jellico started out painfully slowly with no sense of where the story is going. After an hour I put it down and didn’t pick it up for over a year. After three hours I was considering deleting it even though I have a rule about always finishing books. That first was just sucha chore, I thought it could be the first to go.

It wasn’t necessarily a bad or even badly told story; it was just seemed so murky and muddled. The story-within-a-story interludes were as yet unframed, the goals of Taylor (the lead) were still unknown and the initial set up (the ‘war’ between three groups of teens that live or study by the Jellico road) was confusing and, as such, uninteresting. I’m all for a story unfolding, for pieces of information deftly doled out at the right moments etc but the first third seemed like it belong to a different story or at least set up a completely different story.

The first three hours were about that ‘war’ but that is not what the book is about and event thought eh story provides more than one could-be ‘resolution’, the conflict is simply dropped when the real story got going.

The protracted set-up gave an opportunity to tease a few things and start setting up the real story but since I had no idea what the real story was, the tid-bits, flashback, allusions and interludes left me confused and bored.

Jellico road is essentially a story a story of two generations of friends who form/ed unbreakable bonds. It becomes about Taylors search for family, love and understanding. When it does – it is utterly fabulous. I just can’t help but think that if it were only framed like that from the beginning it would have been solid gold.

By the last third of the book, the interludes/flashbacks are breathtaking in their revelations and I got excited every time I heard the music that signalled the change (as opposed to considering fast-forwarding them in the first third).

I guess you just have to go with the book and trust where it will take you but it’s the second novel in a row that I feel did not frame the ultimate story early enough for me to be invested from the beginning. It’s also the second in a row I’ve picked back up a year after dumping it – not a coincidence.

All I can say is if you like powerful emotional dramas, family sagas or intergenerational searches for love, family and hope than the Jellico Road is a wonderful book so stick it out. The end was so utterly emotional I had to lock myself in the bathroom at work to finish it because I couldn’t leave it or sob at my desk.

I don’t know how international readers will take the Australian story and the Aussie narrator. I AM Australian so I found a lot of the stereotypes, characters and idioms accurate to the point of uncomfortable. Somehow though, I still found the narrator’s accent grating (I just kept wondering if that is what I sound like?!)

Overall, I strongly recommend Jellico Road and it is times like this I remember why I have my ‘always finish’ rule!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The prettiest road I???d ever seen

I will admit that the first hour or so, I was completely confused. There are flashbacks, and dreams, and dreams within flashbacks, ok, maybe not that confusing. But once the pieces fall together, it just become such an emotional rollercoaster, that you can???t put it down. They become like your brother or sister, you fall in love with them, and you want to take their hand, and make it all better! And Rebecca Macauley; she really got the feel of the characters.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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My favorite book

I love this book. It has unique characters and a beautiful writing style. I have read and listened to it multiple times.

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No.

The author is talking about things as if we were there, so I am not able to make sense of a lot of things in the story. The narrator has an Australian accent and the story has Australian words for things. Hard to listen to and hard to make sense of the story.

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The most unique book I've ever read! AMAZING

Would you listen to On the Jellicoe Road again? Why?

I have already listened to On the Jellicoe Road many many times. I find something new every time I listen to the book because there are so many twists and turns.

What did you like best about this story?

I really enjoy the mystery aspect of the story. It is done in such an amazing way that you want to know everything right away, but it keeps you guessing until the end.

Any additional comments?

Jellicoe Road has been my favorite book for many years, and I want everyone to experience this book as well.

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must read

i loved this book. its the feeling of summer, friendship and life. the narrator too was great and overall listening to it was just an amazing experience.

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love this book

I love this story, but the music between chapters is a bit annoying. the reading is fine however.

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One of the best books I have read!

Exactly the kind of book that pulls you in. Made me cry. I easily cry when I read, but not by listening to them. This is the first audition to make me cry. Loved it!

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  • Overall
  • @Scattered_Laura
  • 10-11-11

Thoroughly enjoyable.

I may have mentioned at some point (or at several points) that I am completely in love with audiobooks. They make my drive to work not just bearable, but enjoyable. I find that with audiobooks, your eyes don't get the chance to skip over the text and miss something important. Every nuance of a book is brought to life with unabridged recordings of books.
On The Jellicoe Road was another brilliant use of my Audible monthly membership. Rebecca Macauley brought Melina Marchetta's Australian narrative to life.
Taylor Markham was a protagonist who had me torn. At times I liked her cool independence and her "take no prisoners" attitude. At other times I was irritated by how tunnel-visioned she was. I guess when I was a teenager I suffered a case of near-sightedness and held the mistaken belief that my own tiny corner of the world was the sphere itself. Maybe that's just a part of growing up. Nonetheless, Taylor's selfishness irritated me. She'd been through a lot but didn't recognise the positives and potentials of her life.
The narrative of On The Jellicoe Road was split. On the one hand there was the first person narrative of Taylor, on the other was the manuscript written by Hannah, the woman who found and cares for Taylor. At first this was a tad confusing in the audiobook and it took me a few switches in perspective to figure out what was going on. However, I am slow...
I loved the setting of this book. The vivid description of the Jellicoe School and its surrounding grounds was made all the more bright and exciting by the Australian narrator who lent credence to the language. I found myself thinking in an Australian accent (a not at all believable one...) while listening to this book. What can I say? I'm an impressionable soul.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed On The Jellicoe Road. I'd heard a whole bunch of hype about it from my fellow bloggers and, while I'm not sure it's a book I'd rave about, it is a book which I found engaging and enjoyable!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AndrewPS
  • 04-27-14

I am in love with this book

What was one of the most memorable moments of On the Jellicoe Road?

I'm not giving any spoilers !!

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

laugh, cry, die a little and totally fan girl

Any additional comments?

I was a bit confused at first because I didn't understand what some of the slang meant but it becomes clear and is so work the effort to keep reading

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-20-11

Amazing.

This book is incredible, a little hard to follow in places so I'm going to re read it but I loved the mystery and excitement in it. I'm so glad I bought this book, and I'll definitely keep it around as a go to book when I'm low on credits!

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  • Gemma
  • 11-06-17

Reread over 4 times

I first read this book as a teenager and although it was hard to get into at first, then I couldn’t put it down! The story is beautifully written and twines effectively between two tales of friends that by the end of the book you end up wishing you were part of them.
Now as an adult I’ve come back to this book over and over again and still get as much joy out of it as I did all those years ago. Excellent narration. Thank you Melina Marchetta for this beautiful story, can’t wait to read what you come up with next!