Day of the assassins by Johnny O’Brien

Publishers’ blurb

The Year: 1914, The Place: Sarajevo, The Mission: assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Jack Christie and his friend Angus are caught up in a major event that will dramatically change the future. Should they intervene? And, more importantly, will they survive?

Join Jack and his friends on a dangerous chase across pre-war Europe to the rain-sodden trenches of World War I, as the future of mankind hangs in the balance.

Includes a map of pre-war Europe, a timeline of the First World War, a street map of the assassination and photographs of Ferdinand and Princip.

Further information

Day of the assassins website

Johnny O’Brien’s website

Interview at Young Scottish Book Trust blog

Johnny O’Brien at lovereading4kids


Please note that this video may not play in North Lanarkshire schools’ networks.


3 comments on “Day of the assassins by Johnny O’Brien

  1. The reviews at the start of this book pretty much sum it up; they’re by a 10 and a 12 year old boy. Now, why would a 10 year old be reading a book on the longlist for a 14-16 year old book award. Or, why would a book be on the longlist for a 14-16 year old book award if it’s being read by a 10 year old. The answer is simple: it shouldn’t be here. This book is definitely suited more to the P7s (maybe S1s) – perhaps studying WW1 – and is certainly more of a “boys book.” Reading the reviews at the start says it all: “… lots of different fonts and pictures used …” and “… what more could a boy want!” It is quite simplistically written and the main character acts more like 10 than 15. I know I certainly wouldn’t react in the majority of the ways Jack does. The other thing I really disliked it for was just how clichéd it was:
    “He’s your father, Jack.”
    It nearly made me stop reading. It’s just so annoying to me. However, I did enjoy the historical aspect of it – it’s what we’re studying in History – and the plot – which, although was a little unrealistic, I enjoyed the idea of.

  2. The book so far has been fast paced and full of action. There is an added bonus of real history being woven into a very modern adventure. I really enjoy it as it is exciting and it is full of adventure.

    • I’ve finished reading the book now and I would love to read another one of Johnny O’Briens books. The story kept me on the edge of the seat since I read the first page. the plot is really fascinating and i learned some things from the book about world war one that I didn’t know. The characters are very interesting with Angus being part german, Jack not knowing his father, Pendelshape who is a secret agent of some sort but has a job as a history teacher and the two janitors – Tony and Gordon who are ex-SAS soldiers who are also secret agents. There are so many brilliant described settings it is unbelievable. From Jack’s house to the school and from the school to the Alps and so on. My opinion on the book is really good and I would highly recommend it to a reader of between eleven and fourteen.

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