The Pigeon Spy by Terry Deary

The Pigeon Spy

Written by Terry Deary
Illustrated by
Part of the World War I Tales Series

7+ readers   9+ readers   The World Wars   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Can a pigeon save the two hundred American soldiers who are trapped behind the enemy lines? American farm-boy Joe, who shouldn’t really be fighting anyway because he is under-age, is useless at most things but he is brilliant at training pigeons. It is his job to make sure that his pigeon can fly the 25 miles necessary to the get the message through and he is sure they can! An exciting story which brings alive a little known aspect of World War 1.

A Piece of Passion from Kate Paice, Commissioning Editor for Children’s Fiction and Poetry for A&C Black (an imprint of Bloomsbury) Terry Deary is the master of historical non-fiction for kids, and his World War I Tales show him on top form. These fascinating true tales give us some unexpected viewpoints on the 'Great War'. The fears of young men forced into danger, the misery of a German bombing crew who would rather be home with their families, the frustration of a girl who just wants to do her bit… In all these tales, Terry Deary reminds us that wars are fought by people just like us – and that, mostly, those people would rather not be made to fight.


The Pigeon Spy by Terry Deary

Flanders 1918. The extraordinary true story of a pigeon who saved nearly 200 lives. A troop of Americans are trapped behind enemy lines. Not only are their German enemies firing at them but so are their own side. Somehow they have to get a message to their comrades. The only way is by pigeon. But every time a pigeon rises in the air it is shot down. The last pigeon, a black bird called Cher Ami, flies with bullets zipping through the air all around him, covering 25 miles in just 65 minutes, helping to save the lives of the 194 survivors. In his epic journey he is shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, and left with a leg hanging only by a tendon. Army medics save his life. They can't save his leg, so they carve a small wooden one for him. When he recovers, the pigeon is put on a boat to the United States, a hero.


another fascinating insight into the lesser-known aspects of the War - this time, a homing pigeon charged with carrying a vital message. An excellent series. Parents in Touch

About the Author

Terry Deary

One of the World Book Day 2014 Authors Terry Deary is the author of 249 fiction and non-fiction books published in 36 years and is one of the most successful children’s authors of all time. His Horrible Histories series has sold over 6 million copies in the UK and has been translated into over 40 languages, as well as being adapted into a BAFTA award-winning television series for CBBC. Terry was also voted The Outstanding Non-Fiction Author of the 20th Century (Books for Keeps). He has now turned his attentions to adult fiction and non-fiction and more television and stage work.

He is married to Jenny and they have a daughter Sara who recently had twins, Terry's first grandchildren. He lives in Durham.

Q+A with Terry Deary

Favourite Hero: Guy Fawkes

Favourite Monster: The Chimera

Your weapon of choice: Machine Gun

Special Secret Power: Invisibility

Favourite Fight scene: Gladiators

Goodie or baddie: Baddie

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Book Info


64 pages


Terry Deary
More books by Terry Deary

Author's Website


Publication date

20th October 2016




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