When We Were Two - Robert Newton (Penguin Books)
Dan and his brother Eddie take off for the coast, in search of their lost mother, in search of a better life… but it's a long road they face and Dan must use all his wits to get them there in one piece. When they are taken under the wings of a group of would-be soldiers marching over the mountains to join up for the Great War, their journey becomes something quite unexpected. The experiences they share will shape their future beyond recognition.
Robert Newton works as a full-time fire-fighter with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. His first novel, My Name is Will Thompson, was published in 2001. Since then he has written four other novels for young people, including Runner and The Black Dog Gang. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and three daughters.
The looming shadow of war is ever present inWhen We Were Two and the book speaks of the innocence, naivety and hope of a generation of young men and boys who marched towards it. Yet the strength of the story lies in the unconditional love between the two brothers, and in their spirit and courage which are destined to survive the slaughter to come. This is historical fiction of rare accomplishment. When We Were Two deserves to become a classic.