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Gracie and her friend Daniel have always been warned to stay away from the Birdman and his side of the island. But then they find a message in the sand and discover the Birdman is not who they thought. They build up a lovely friendship with him, but when the children get stranded on Samson Island they dont know whether to believe the birdmans story that the island is cursed. Set against the backdrop of World War I, in the tradition of Friend or Foe and Private Peaceful Michael Morpurgo brings the emotional reality of conflict to life in a way that is accessible to younger readers.