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3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  1,711 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Speaking from a mental hospital, a teenage girl recounts the tremendous media pressure preceding the breaking scandal of her father's unethical business dealings. "This affecting account of a family under siege by the media is both an engaging read and a strong psychological exploration".--"Booklist".
Mass Market Paperback, 128 pages
Published July 11th 2000 by Laurel Leaf (first published January 1st 1996)
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On the Jellicoe Road by Melina MarchettaThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakSaving Francesca by Melina MarchettaGraffiti Moon by Cath CrowleyTomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 11, 2016 Annie rated it it was amazing
A very interesting fly through read.. well done, John Marsden!!! Checkers is a book that explores teens with prominent and real social/family/health issues.. It's told in the perspective of a nameless girl, who is a voluntary patient in a Psychiatric Ward who refuses to talk about why she's there.. It was like reading her diary.. Before she admits herself into hospital, she lived with a rich yet dysfunctional family, when her father has a success with his business, he buys her a pet dog which sh ...more
Jul 24, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
While in no way a stunning piece of literature, Checkers is exceptional for the unusual perspective it takes regarding political scandals. Told from the point of view of the teenaged daughter of one of the men involved, Checkers tells the tale of a family falling apart and a teenager's life being destroyed by a scandal she had no involvement in. The story weaves the nameless protagonist's flashbacks about her dog, Checkers, and the scandal that ruined her life with current day scenes in the psyc ...more
Feb 03, 2009 Catherine rated it really liked it
I read this at age 13, while living in Australia, and several times later in my teens. There's something about the main character that is so easy to relate to, regardless of your own personal circumstances. I feel like this book helped me cope with the hell that was my adolescent years, and I was comforted by the fact that there were others going through what I was (or worse).
Jun 30, 2016 Kaysia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 stars! a short, unique and interesting story that had me engaged the whole time. i was not expecting the ending, it was so heartbreaking, but also made the story come together and make much more sense than it had all the way through. i wasn't, however, very attached to any characters, and the story was quite repetitive at times.
Feb 06, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it
Some books are almost too poignant for words. This is one. John Marsden is one of my favorite Australian writers. He somehow manages to trap adolescence in a book and make it seem like real life. No morals. No fancy parties. Good families and broken families. And all in writing that seems to have come from a real teenager.

She's in a psychiatric hospital. She won't speak in group. She slowly begins to know about the other patients in her group and feel less isolated. But she guilty, even if they
I never really got into this book. I don't really know why. The plot wasn't really... engaging. Like another reviewer stated, it was quite bleak. Didn't impress me as much as So much to tell you or Take my work for it.
Aug 24, 2010 Jet rated it did not like it
This book holds the distinction of being the only one I have ever thrown across the room upon finishing it.

Usually I love Marsden.
Jul 21, 2012 Shannon rated it did not like it
Stupid, stupid, stupid!!! Do not waste your time with this book.
Petra Chase
Jul 07, 2015 Petra Chase rated it it was amazing
I don't know why some people were disappointed in the plot. I think politics is just going to bore some people no matter what, but I found it interesting. I used this book as a reference for mental disorders and mental institutes. If you need to research for that, Checkers is a good start. It's a fast read and I couldn't read it without a pen, because there were so many musings and quotes that I loved! Marshden especially did a good job creating diverse characters and building up their relations ...more
Aug 06, 2012 Leone rated it did not like it
Uninteresting , slow, distressing conclusion.
Hannah cummings
May 24, 2011 Hannah cummings rated it it was ok
sad sad sad no point
Dec 17, 2013 Cindee rated it liked it
Checkers is a young adult fiction novel about a girl who I am assuming to be around 15/16 years old. There is a lot of mystery about her because she doesn't say where she is or even who she is outright - everything is described very subtly and you come to realise that she's in some sort of mental facility. It is written in first person and she goes back and forth between telling the story in the present and telling it in the past, all of the events leading up to why she's in such a place.

I just
Oh my goodness. Writing a proper review when I get on a computer.


So, it took me a while, but I got to a computer.

But anyway, about the book. Checkers is the story of an unnamed protagonist who has voluntarily checked herself into a psych ward. Written as a way to get her feelings out without sharing them to any of the doctors or psychologists, she recounts memories of her dog, Checkers, as well as the rest of her family and how her life fell apart.

Although a lot of what the character goes thr
Chante Pabst
Oct 09, 2012 Chante Pabst rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1-12
Probably the most depressing book I have ever read. The main character, whose name we never hear, is in a Psych hospital throughout the entire book and we don't know why until the end. It's a mix between flashbacks to her life before the hospital and certain life-explaining situations in the hospital. The book is named after her dog, Checkers, who is spotted black and white. I can't really say much without spoiling the story for you... Basically the main character's dad gets into some issues wi ...more
Such and emotional book and only recommend it for very very mature readers if you are around my age. But I found it reading it opened my eyes up o more mysterious way of writing, the way it didn't let everything on until the end. Overall, I really liked it.
Apr 14, 2015 Jackie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book about a girl processing her normalness while being a patient in a psych ward. So cleverly written that we never discover her name but we can live inside her life, and the lives of the other kids in the hospital with her.
Angela Maher
Apr 10, 2014 Angela Maher rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian
Whilst well written, and by a good author, I'm not glad I read this book. It's depressing, bleak and with no real sense of hope, even at the end. Avoid this if you're feeling in the least bit unhappy.
Sep 21, 2016 Mackenzie rated it really liked it
OMG THAT TWIST THOUGH!!! Most of this book was kind of boring to me but OMG about what happened at the end. Highly recommend this if you're looking for a quick read!
Benji Danx
Jun 07, 2015 Benji Danx rated it really liked it
As short and bittersweet as an artistic short film composed entirely by sentiment and the value of attachment to something far from human relationship.
Dec 19, 2014 Jas rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
unfortunately I didn't like this because it had so much focus on politics.

It's a sad story and in the end there's no closure, there's no 'wrap up' it just... ends.
Sep 19, 2012 Clare rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

I read this book awhile ago, and then re-read it after my dog died when I blamed myself for her death. I cried from the first moment the dog was bought into the household.

This book was wonderfully written with flashbacks revielling some information, but not everything to the last moment, which enables readers to completely immerse themself in the story.

John Marsden has a wonderful talent in creating characters that everyone can relate to, I'm sure everyone would know of a person who was similar
Dec 20, 2008 Ellin rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favourite books and my favourite John Marsden novel.

Whilst the language is relatively simple, the story straight forward and the flashbacks (as well as the main characters placement in a mental institution) approaching cliche it is the relationship between her and the dog, Checkers that I truly love about this novel. Even as her world crashes down around her the dog is there for her, the only person she can rely on. And despite the foreshadowing throughout the book the
Apr 27, 2015 Alli rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I read this book quite a long time ago, probably nearly 15yrs ago now but I do remember that after reading this book I felt quite emotional.
I know it had a lot to do with the main character and her dog named Checkers. I think I will have to find my copy again and re-read it to see how it would affect me now.
John Marsden is quite capable of getting inside the head/persona of a teenage girl and all those thoughts and feelings you have yourself are then in writing in front of you.
Lili Kathey
Mar 28, 2013 Lili Kathey rated it liked it
Now that I think about it, this book didn't reveal all that much about the main character (what's her name? I'm not sure she ever told us), but perhaps that wasn't even essential. Most of what we found out was about Checkers, and the ending came as a bit of a shock. I think I rather liked it, despite the occasional lack of details. I probably wouldn't have liked it as much if I hadn't been very close to being admitted into a ward like this, and if I hadn't felt so damn guilty last year. That's s ...more
Albert Zora
Apr 11, 2014 Albert Zora rated it it was amazing
The story is so sad and i don't want to stop reading!!! Stunning book.
Mar 28, 2015 Jen rated it it was amazing
Terribly sad. Money and power being abused = the root of all evil.
Jan 04, 2013 Christine rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I've had this book in my library for some time now and have always thought, that book looks like a nice light read. Although the book isn't long, it's not exactly what I would call light.

The story was one of those books that reveal information piece by piece, like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It was definitely a book you have to read in one sitting, I felt engrossed in the book and was brought to tears hen the final piece of the puzzle was revealed.

Although the book is written for teens I
Kaisa Mettille
This Book was horrible.
Apr 10, 2016 Dystopian rated it really liked it
Too short!
Mar 04, 2009 Ja rated it really liked it
I read this book on a whim a few summers ago, but somehow the storyline really stuck with me. It had a lot of dark humor, lightening the mood of the mental institution. I was hooked until the very end, following the protagonists current journey in the mental institution and the friends she makes there and her gripping past which eventually reveals why she is there. It was pretty shocking, and sad, but ends on a light note and gives you the feeling that she can finally move on. I would recommend ...more
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See also: John Marsden.

His first book, So Much To Tell You, was published in 1987. This was followed by Take My Word For It, a half-sequel written from the point of view of another character. His landmark Tomorrow series is recognized as the most popular book series for young adults ever written in Australia. The first book of this series, Tomorrow When The War Began, has been reprinted 26 times i
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