Ghost MessagesBook - 2011
When Ailish, an Irish fortune-teller, becomes trapped on the Great Eastern as the ship sets off on its voyage, she meets a young boy named Davy who seems to know everything about the ship, but never appears on its deck.
Orca Book Publishers
In pursuit of stolen treasure in 1865 Ireland, thirteen-year-old Ailish winds up trapped on the Great Eastern as it sails! The largest ship ever built, the Great Eastern's mission is to lay the fi rst undersea telegraph cable across the Atlantic Ocean. On the journey, Ailish gets help from a young boy, Davy, who seems to live belowdecks. She makes friends with an Irish sailor and tries to track down the hiding place of her father's treasure. The crew must battle the seas and the mishaps of their cable-laying mission, some of which would appear to be sabotage. Through many adventures, Davy is her constant companion. But why won't he ever come topside? Can Ailish use her wits, her determination and her friendships to survive the trip, let alone save the day
In this historical novel, a 12-year-old Irish girl accidentally stows away on the Great Eastern , the largest ship ever built, as it attempts to lay the first transatlantic telegraph cable from Ireland to Newfoundland. She encounters a strange young boy who seems to know everything about the ship, but for some reason never appears on its deck.
From the critics
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Ghost messages was so good! My favorite character is Davy because he knows so much and must be a great friend to have. This book was really interesting. It taught me so much things on the boat. I felt like I was in the book when I read this!
The year is 1865. At 13 years of age, Ailish O’Connor is already a fortune-teller. She and her father travel from place to place in Ireland and earn a living with her prophecies of the future, which are surprisingly accurate. Ailish has the gift of second sight.
Tragedy strikes suddenly one night in an Irish seaport when Ailish awakes to the sounds of vicious blows. In the second room that they have rented for the night, she finds her father beaten and dying, their savings stolen. Ailish is certain that a newly-met acquaintance of her father is responsible.
The next day, through a series of circumstances, Ailish becomes trapped on a high liner, the Great Eastern, as it casts off from Ireland on its historic voyage to lay the first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable.
The sailors on the Great Eastern are superstitious and Ailish must pretend to be a boy so that they won’t toss her into the sea. When she discovers that her father’s murderer, a dangerous and brutal man, is also aboard the ship, she knows that she must be doubly sure to keep her disguise – as well as her wits and courage – if she is to complete the long voyage and reach Newfoundland alive.
Posing as a cabin boy, Ailish sometimes receives help from a mysterious young boy named “Davy”, who never comes up on deck – yet seems to know everything about the ship. They become close friends. Later, she discovers that none of the ship’s crew have ever seen or heard of the boy. Could he be a ghost from the past?
This suspenseful story is very believable, and will “hook” readers as it brings to life a significant event in world history – the first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable. Readers will cheer for Ailish, a brave, resourceful and likeable heroine.
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SPL_Childrens thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 13
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