THE MEMORY CAGE – Shrine Bell has it covered!

We're very excited to announce that Shrine Bell has acquired all four children's books by the award-winning author Ruth Eastham. Previously published by Scholastic, each of Ruth's titles will be available to buy from the Shrine Bell website sporting all-new shiny covers. Set for publication in June 2017, Ruth's debut book The Memory Cage is the first title our designer, Nathan, has been working on. Take a look at the cover options he's come up with below and find out which option Ruth chose.

The Memory Cage is story of Alex, a boy who was adopted during the Yugoslav Wars, and his determination to help his grandad recover his failing memory following his Alzheimer's diagnosis. 


Here's what Ruth thinks ...

'When I heard that the innovative publisher Shrine Bell were going to re-issue my first novel, The Memory Cage, I was absolutely delighted. I’d already seen the dynamic team launch Matt Dickinson’s Everest Files trilogy and Sarah Mussi’s Snowdonia Chronicles with great success, and was so excited to see what they’d come up with for The Memory Cage.

A few days ago, during my author visit at a London school, I revealed – with excited trepidation – the brand new front cover for the very first time!'

And here it is! Ruth went for option two:

Ruth says ... 'I knew how vitally important it was to get the design right… So I was totally thrilled when the Year 5s and 6s gave it the biggest heart-warming thumbs up ever! These switched-on young people also noticed elements of the artwork I’d never even thought of, such as how some of the bars are different thicknesses … Could this mean that certain memories escape more easily than others?

At the Midlands secondary school I went to next, the students and teachers were equally impressed. They noticed how some of the letters remain trapped inside the cage, while others come through to the outside. The question then was – are the memories inside the ones that are remembered or forgotten? Great stuff!

One thing is for sure – the clever and creative designer at Shrine Bell, Nathan, has produced a cover that is thought-provoking and powerful. Love it! Whilst the blues and reds pay tribute to the original The Memory Cage, this new design is radically different and gives the story a whole new spin. 

The three aircraft seen through the bars of the cage hint at Grandad’s secret Second World War past, while the fighter plane motif links with the trauma Alex, a war refugee, has been through and can’t talk about.

Even the background – I sometimes see a wall with cracked, peeling paint, sometimes swirling cloud – adds to the theme of being trapped and facing obstacles, coupled with the fuzzy blur of memories forgotten. Every element of the cover has been crafted in a fabulously intriguing way.

With such great graphics, I can leave the punchy cover text to speak for itself:

Alex has survived a war. Now his mind is the enemy.

(Thanks to fellow Shrine Bell author, Matt Dickinson, for that one!)

I was so proud when The Memory Cage, my debut, got shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize. Now I’m so proud again of my new look book.

By the way, Shrine Bell is actually going to re-issue all of my titles: The Messenger Bird, The Jaguar Trials, Arrowhead 

Book number five will be my new book, The Warrior in the Mist, out in September. Can’t wait to see what Nathan comes up with for that one!'


To book Ruth for an author visit, go to her website:

Follow Ruth on Twitter: @rutheastham1

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