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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent story with great historical references
Eastham has done a lot of research on the work done by code breakers and the historical context surrounding this in WW2. This clearly shows as she is able to realistically place the reader both in the footsteps of the protagonist, in modern day Bletchley Park, at the same time as give the reader a feel for what went on in the war and the importance of the codebreakers'...
Published on 14 Jun 2012 by therivertyne

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3.0 out of 5 stars The Messenger Bird
Nathan's father is arrested for selling Government information and breaking the Official Secrets Act. As police drag him away, he shouts back at Nathan to "follow Lily's trail". The trail leads Nathan to Bletchley Park during World War II. How will this help him save his father? Read it and find out!

Ruth Eastham, of 'The Memory Cage' fame, has written another...
Published 12 months ago by Tiff


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent story with great historical references, 14 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Messenger Bird (Paperback)
Eastham has done a lot of research on the work done by code breakers and the historical context surrounding this in WW2. This clearly shows as she is able to realistically place the reader both in the footsteps of the protagonist, in modern day Bletchley Park, at the same time as give the reader a feel for what went on in the war and the importance of the codebreakers' work.
Although it is marketed as a children's book, as a young adult I found the story riveting and the narrative engaging, in fact I read it in two sittings, limited only by tiredness! The protagonist, Nathan, is made to feel very real by Eastham's engaging description of his thought processes and emotions, and she makes it possible for the child reader to enjoy the book in one way, by the storyline and relating to the protagonist, and for the adult reader by having a deep, complex storyline and making a complex and intelligent character of the protagonist (far less patronising than many children's authors are to their readers and characters).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Codes, spies, danger and mystery - totally page-turning., 18 May 2012
This review is from: The Messenger Bird (Paperback)
The Messenger Bird is an adventure mystery with a spine chilling undercurrent. Steeped in codes and conspiracies the story takes us to Bletchley Park, the secret code breaking centre of WW2. There Nathan must follow clues laid down over half a century ago to unravel the mystery that now threatens his family. This book is totally gripping. You feel the panic that Nathan feels when his father is arrested by MI5 operatives, you feel the sinister, ever-watching presence of those who will stop at nothing to absolve themselves and incriminate others, you feel the overwhelming weight of responsibility that Bletchley carried in the last war and amongst all this you struggle with Nathan to crack the clues in time to save his father.

Nathan is indeed a messenger bird. Just like the fragile courier pigeons who carried messages of hope and intelligence across enemy lines during the war, Nathan carries with him the only hope his father has of clearing his name. Like the birds, Nathan must chart a course across unknown territory, read signs, brave storms, carry on exhausted and home in on the truth. Ruth Eastham has obviously done extensive research and been able to weave the tragic story of the Nazi attack on Coventry, the amazing story of Bletchley and capture the zeitgeist of modern-day, whistle-blowing, security-leaking politics. Utterly BRILLIANT.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Messenger Bird Delivers!, 16 May 2012
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This review is from: The Messenger Bird (Paperback)
I loved this book. I had high hopes after the brilliant debut of The Memory Cage and Messenger Bird certainly lived up to them.
I found the historical links added to the interest and found myself wanting to flick to the end of the book to find out what happened. Thankfully I resisted temptation. The book is yet another page turner. Every chapter leaves you wanting more. The character of Nathan is very well written and you find yourself willing him on and yourself wondering just who he should trust. I can imagine Bletchley Park will get a few extra visitors as a result of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, 14 May 2012
This review is from: The Messenger Bird (Paperback)
A fast paced, intriguing fun packed novel that delves into the past and personal experiences of war and it's intricate link to the present.

Nathan, a 13 year old boy, has the sole responsibility to save his father, who works for the Ministry of Defence, from false accusations and a life sentence in prison. His courage and creativity makes the reader root for him from beginning to end. `The Messenger Bird' is a novel that focuses on the importance on friendship and family and our need to protect each other from the horrors of war. It is a novel about the complex nature of loyalty.

I could not, and did not, put this book down. I was pulled into the storyline (and the unpicking of clues) from the first page and hardly stopped for breath until I had finished it. `Messenger bird' has the extra bonus of reading about the enigma machines and other interesting details about the Second World War.

Another fabulous novel by Ruth Eastham!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page-turner, 11 May 2012
This review is from: The Messenger Bird (Paperback)
Ruth Eastham certainly knows how to keep you up at night thinking to yourself, 'Just one more page, ok, one more chapter...'. This book is unputdownable. The author translates fascinating research into an accessible, readable adventure which would get any teenager itching to get back to the book whenever they could. A winner for boys, but just as exciting and interesting for girls too, I think.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GRIPPING, 9 May 2012
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This review is from: The Messenger Bird (Paperback)
Ruth Eastham's new book is a gripping tale of espionage and mystery. The reader is led on a secret trail that weaves together two stories that although separated by time are intimately connected. Nathan is the very believable hero in a desperate bid to save his father; but the clock is ticking not only in the present but also in the past. Messenger Bird is a beautifully crafted tale that keeps the reader enthralled with a plot that effortlessly conveys the drama and history of events at Bletchley park during the 2nd World War. This is a thriller with a twist set against a rich historical background. A must for anyone who likes a good read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars J.Catton, 27 April 2012
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J. Catton - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Messenger Bird (Paperback)
Ruth Eastham's "The Messenger Bird" is an exciting adventure that keeps the reader gripped . Nathan is on a quest against time to save his Dad and each chapter is crafted so that the reader wants to keep on reading to solve the mysteries. Who can be trusted? Who are the traitors? The novel also has real historical events cleverly interwoven into story. A good read for children aged 10 and above.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An exciting adventure, 30 April 2014
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This review is from: The Messenger Bird (Paperback)
Based on the famous code breakers of Bletchley Park, this is the story of a boy battling to save his father who has been accused of selling state secrets. Nathan and his friends need to keep their wits about them as they follow a trail of clues left by his father and by Lily Kenley, an ex-code breaker who worked at Bletchley Park during the war.

This story is a great introduction to the history of the code breakers and world war two. You can read the first chapter on Ruth Eastham's website.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Messenger Bird, 25 Jun 2013
By 
Tiff (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Messenger Bird (Paperback)
Nathan's father is arrested for selling Government information and breaking the Official Secrets Act. As police drag him away, he shouts back at Nathan to "follow Lily's trail". The trail leads Nathan to Bletchley Park during World War II. How will this help him save his father? Read it and find out!

Ruth Eastham, of 'The Memory Cage' fame, has written another wonderful junior fiction novel full of adventure and mystery. i love the strong bond between Nathan and his dad. Look out for the tense explosive ending!

The book is fascinatingly linked to Bletchley, the Enigma code and the Coventry Blitz - Coventry Cathedral's ruin is featured on the cover. Nice web links included for those wishing to know more about Bletchley.
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4.0 out of 5 stars codebreaker thriller, 21 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Messenger Bird (Paperback)
Ruth Eastham's books are fun to read. This is an artfully constructed page-turner. The prose slides by with lots of original phrases. It's well-researched with distinct characters, Josh is my favourite, and the family settings are well done. The intelligence service is both sinister and efficient so our three main characters have to work quickly to solve the enigmatic puzzle. One of the most enjoyable books of the year. So why withhold a star? Lily's story is fascinating but its link with the present seems tenuous. I sense the novelist's hand upping the stakes as the story advances and Auntie Hilda's house in sinking under the weight of WWII memorabilia. The Bond villain naively reveals a cunning plan. It's a children's book, so none of these quibbles matter. Well done, Ruth, you've written an enjoyable yarn that educates and entertains.
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The Messenger Bird
The Messenger Bird by Ruth Eastham (Paperback - 3 May 2012)
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