Winner, Book of the Year - Older Readers 2006
Children's Book Council of Australia
Winner, Children's Literature (Novel) 2006
of the Australian Family Therapists' Award
A must read for all teens.
David Koch, Channel 7 Sunrise
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
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, Sydney Morning Herald
Burke gently probes the pain suffered by Tom and his family and uncovers, realistically, some of what goes on behind the headlines.
Australian Bookseller + Publisher
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
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
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