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John Townsend is a full time writer who focuses particularly on helping boys enjoy reading. He has written both fiction and non fiction but usually focuses on non fiction. Before becoming a full time writer, John spent 25 years teaching in schools, he has been the Head of Drama, a Special Needs Coordinator and also the resident writer/storyteller in a primary school. As a writer he visits schools regularly to talk to children about his books. He runs boys literacy projects and has been named a 'Reading Champion' by the National Literacy Trust. He is the author of Never Odd Nor Even, also in Ransom's Cold Fusion Series.
In the attic of his house, Sam finds a leather case that belonged to his great great grandfather, Freddy Ovel. The case contains a diary, and as Sam begins to read it he is taken right back to just before the First World War, when Freddy was a boy. Sam also finds a photograph and discovers that at his age Freddy was his exact double. The diary unlocks more than just events of the war however. Sam discovers there is much more to 'Freddy' than meets the eye - not only heroic wartime deeds and terrible injuries, but also some very dark secrets indeed. This poignant story, spanning a century, is the perfect way to remember the outbreak of the first great war of our time. The Secret Message is part of a new series from Ransom, called Cold Fusion, designed to cater for the interests of the more able reader. This series tackles compelling topics in a way that is more demanding than the average book for an 8 to 12 year old. The books in this series are not necessarily very long reads; rather it is the content of these books and the vocabulary that is used that is more challenging. Perfect for gifted and talented children.