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Publisher's Summary

War imprisoned them. Friendship set them free. 

China, 1941. With Japan’s declaration of war on the Allies, Elspeth Kent’s future changes forever. When soldiers take control of the missionary school where she teaches, comfortable security is replaced by rationing, uncertainty and fear.

Ten-year-old Nancy Plummer has always felt safe at Chefoo School. Now the enemy, separated indefinitely from anxious parents, the children must turn to their teachers - to Miss Kent and her new Girl Guide patrol especially - for help. But worse is to come when the pupils and teachers are sent to a distant internment camp. Unimaginable hardship, impossible choices and danger lie ahead.

Inspired by true events, this is the unforgettable story of the life-changing bonds formed between a young girl and her teacher in a remote corner of a terrible war. 

©2020 Hazel Gaynor (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Moving and authentic." (Dinah Jefferies)

"Beautiful...warm, loveable characters who had me rooting for them all the way." (Tracy Rees)   

"An absolute treat." (Liz Nugent)

What listeners say about The Bird in the Bamboo Cage

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Incredibly well told story

This was an amazing listen. The narrators (one for the young girls part and one for the teachers) complemented each other really well. I was recommended this as an insight to Girl Guides, and I’m so glad I read(listened) to it. The story will stay with me for a long time I think

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A Beautiful Book

Thank you for writing such an uplifting and heart warming book. Although there are some truly challenging moments in the story the story remains inspiring and poignant.

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Wonderful WW2 POW account

Anyone with interest in WW2 civilian POWs and Baden-Powel's Brownies and Girl Guides movements will enjoy this. Based on a true story... it is a harrowing memoir of a Western School's imprisonment by the Japanese in China. Its not as gorey as similar tales... not TOO much awful detail. This is a book about strength of character and faith amongst decent people in indecent conditions. A good read, well written with wonderful narration.

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  • Mrs Green
  • 15-11-2020

Exceptional

i have thoroughly enjoyed all of Ms Gaynor's books thus far, this being one of my favourites.

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  • Jennie
  • 06-09-2020

familiar story

the narration and accents was lovely. the story was similar to Empire of the Sun which is one of my favourites so that was alright. I look forward to reading more from this author.

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  • Mrs H
  • 04-09-2020

amazing amazing amazing

A harrowing and beautiful story, beautifully read and punctuated, it will stay with me for some time

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  • mamma c
  • 01-09-2020

Very moving and good narration

I couldn't stop reading this book despite bringing me to tears on several occasions. Having not seen my mother and family throughout the lockdown this story brought everything into perspective. Well written and narrated. I wonder if the Brownie and Guide movement is still as strong? I hope so. I would love to see this as a film.

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