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Song of an Innocent Bystander
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Song of an Innocent Bystander

3.24  ·  Rating Details ·  268 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
When she was nine-years-old, Freda walked into an underground restaurant and straight into a terrifying ordeal&150for thirty-six hours she was at the mercy of a deranged gunman. While her parents waited outside, Freda allied herself with the one person who could possibly save her&150the gunman. Ten years later, a newspaper reporter is seeking the truth about Freda. ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 3rd 2004 by Dutton Juvenile (first published January 1st 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jul 07, 2016 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
I originally gave this a 3 I think but damn I actually love this book. I read it in Grade 11 English at school and I loved it so much. We studied emotions that term and our chosen emotion was 'Guilt'. This book was perfect when looking at guilt as each character experienced such varying levels of different types of guilt. I was actually sympathetic for the gunman in this book. I was shamed in my class for sympathising for him and actually enjoying this book. All John wanted to do was tell people ...more
Jul 22, 2015 Louis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 12, 2009 Cornmaven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hs-adult, adult
This is a pretty intense book, and I could not put it down. It chronicles a fictional young woman struggling with PTSD brought on by a hostage/siege situation when she was 9 years old. The book moves back and forth to relive the siege, revealing (maybe) what really happened, along with revealing how the girl has fared over the years. It also chronicles how each of her parents reacted to the situation (they were not with her), and how that has affected her. Alternates between third and first pers ...more
Oct 12, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book the first time I read it... and the second and third... It is one of my favourite books ever.
Michala Tyann
Mar 27, 2013 Michala Tyann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Review: The Song of an Innocent Bystander by Ian Bone
By: Michala T.

The Song of an Innocent Bystander by Ian Bone (2004)
When Freda was nine years old she and her family goes to eat out. Freda is psyched because normally her mother Nancy would never agree to such a place as Family Value. So when her kids meal doesn’t include the sticker she so badly wanted she talks her dad into letting her go back in to get her sticker. With determination, Freda walks straight to the front counter unaware
Sam Brennan
Sep 24, 2013 Sam Brennan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ok so i got this book for 1 dollar at a book sale and probably wouldnt have read it other wise. But i really enjoyed the story, i mean the writing was a bit to whats the word.......mature would best describe it haha i enjoy young adult fiction and mostly fantasy type things but sometimes the emotions where just described a little too much for me. But the story line was what i read it for. <<<<<<<<<<<<<(view spoiler) ...more
Ailsa Bentley
Jun 19, 2012 Ailsa Bentley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all teenagers (mainly girls)
This book didn't turn out how I thought it would. I thought it was going to be another teenage "woe is me, my life is awful" book that is just crappy and self absorbed. I couldn't have been more wrong.
This creative novel delves into the psychology of an event and analyzes the characteristics of each person. Ok. I just made that sound really boring, but actually, its fascinating.
I'm a teen, but I don't like all that vampire, love, sadness, loss, books that seem to take over the young adult b
As i was making my way through this novel i felt that there was so much emotion in it, it was as if all the emotion that each character had was locked in a tiny bottle waiting to be unleashed, that's what it stayed to be; locked emotion, it didn't burst out to me. There was so much going on that at times i strayed from remembering who the main character was, but when i did remember, i never forgot all that she went through, it was as if i was in there, with her in that underground restaurant, wa ...more
Feb 24, 2015 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, rereads, 2015
I read this first when I was in high school and when I saw it on the shelves at work I remembered having really liked it, but not what happened or what I like about it. Not everything worked for me - the flashbacks to Frieda aged x didn't seem to match tone for me and took away from the urgency of the siege flashbacks as well as Frieda's current experiences, the William reveal seemed obvious (maybe it was meant to be, or maybe this is a YA thing where its a bit more on the nose?) and the end "re ...more
Despite the fact that this is technically YA, and I'm 20 already I somehow felt a little too young to be reading this. A lot of the emotions that the characters were experienced were way over my head, adn the general tone set me on edge in a not-so-pleasant way (although this could be because I don't read many thrillers.) While the story was interesting, the characters didn't really let me in (or rather, Freda seemed to be intent on shunting me out.) I think this falls into the read again when I ...more
Feb 03, 2016 Louisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one! Set in Australian fast food restaurant it tells the story of a hostage situation. The gunman has a point to make and the young girl who happens to be held hostage in there without her mother ends up sympathising with her tormentor. The story does more than simply recount the hostage crisis - it gives insights into the longer term effects it has on the girl as she grows to adulthood.
May 17, 2015 Sam rated it it was ok
I couldn't really get into it at all. I had to stop less than halfway through because there wasn't really enough intrigue about what was going on. It was almost repetitive, but not quite, in the way that the things that would happen wouldn't be the same thing, but they would /feel/ like the same thing. So, while it wasn't necessarily a bad book, it didn't interest me at all, and I couldn't really recommend it.
Jul 20, 2015 Supertacoz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The worst book I have ever read I would rather die than read this book a second time. It drags on for the whole book and has a terrible ending. No real interesting plot but might be interesting for someone with no life. If I wasn't forced I wouldn't read this. Why isn't it possible to review less than one star or I definetly would
Apr 04, 2015 Inaara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting take on Stockholm Syndrome. Freda Opperman is unable to move on from the events of her past. At nine years old, she and 10 others are held hostage in a restaurant for two days by an armed gunman. The narrative alternates between past and present day, as Freda struggles to come to terms with the role she played in the deadly situation.
Pamela Morgan
Ten years ago, 9 year old Freda walked into an underground restaurant, into a hostage situation. It still haunts her. But was she just an innocent victim manipulated by the one stranger who showed her any kindness – the gunman? A gripping thriller.
Aug 04, 2012 Hallie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading all of the ratings, I had pretty high hopes for this book. I really wanted to like it but I found myself turning the page just to be done with it. Only about 20-30 pages towards the end were able to even keep my interest.
Aug 25, 2015 jagle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a bit slow and tedious, and the last quarter finally livened up, but it really wasn't a great book. The story does sweep you along with it, and I did want to know what the outcome would be, but I certainly wouldn't read it again.
Sep 30, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the approach of the tenth anniversary of the time she was held hostage in a fast food restaurant, nineteen-year-old Freda Opperman struggles to make sense of her memories of the event and how they have shaped her life.
Jun 27, 2009 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jun 16, 2010 Maggie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
A great premise, but it never really came together.
Sep 01, 2014 Lydia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
very slow at times
Nov 28, 2010 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely incredible, I would suggest this to everyone. It is a realy great book on what a tramatic event in childhood can do as well as a thought provoking look at the goodness of ones life.
Sep 30, 2013 Wolfie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting point of view on a tragic event that changed a group of people's lives..
3.5 stars. Slow to start, but overall it was intense. I did like the surprise near the end. I probably wouldn't read it again, but it wasn't a bad book.
Jun 10, 2009 Kelci rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
it was good but also kinda werid and the whole way it was played out.
Jody Werth
It is an interesting premise, I think the author could have done more with it, but it wasn't bad.
Jessica Wing Si Ha
Jessica Wing Si Ha rated it really liked it
Sep 14, 2012
Elle rated it liked it
Feb 07, 2015
Lance Eaton
Lance Eaton rated it liked it
Jan 05, 2008
Mrs Bakitch
Mrs Bakitch rated it really liked it
Dec 08, 2015
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I am an author of books for young readers and young adults. I am Australian, and my books are published in Australia, the USA, the UK, Germany, Korea, Brazil and Finland.

My novel, The Song of an Innocent Bystander is being adapted into a major feature film. My children's book series, Philomena Wonderpen, has been bought by an International media company to be adapted for television.

I teach writing
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