Heroes of Tobruk, by David Mulligan

There’s always a moment of almost uncontrollable fear and terror when a patrol comes back and the face you’re looking for isn’t there.

All his life Peter Fullerton has been overshadowed by his older brother, Johnny. So, when war is declared in 1939 and Johnny enlists at Duntroon, Peter feels ignored once again. But Peter and his friend Tony find their own way to contribute to the war. On a whim, the pair put their ages up from sixteen to twenty one and enlist in the army.

Heroes of Tobruk follows the adventures of Peter and his friend from when they enlist in Melbourne, through their training and deployment, and through the rigours of the Siege of Tobruk, as well as the aftermath, using a combination of third person narration and first person diary form, from Peter Fullerton’s perspective. For teen readers, this use of the diary format coupled with the young age of the main character will make this story of a significant part of World War 2 more real for teen readers, brining the message home about the experiences of young Australian soldiers.

Released in time for pre ANZAC day reading, this is an important story for any time of the year.

Heroes of Tobruk, by David Mulligan
Scholastic Press, 2008