Book: Spy On History
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Date Published: January 10th, 2017
Genre: Middle Grade
Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring introduces an exciting interactive series for middle grade readers—Spy on History, where the reader gets to experience history in a whole new way.
Meet Mary Bowser, an African American spy who was able to infiltrate the Confederate leadership at the highest level. Enigma Alberti dramatizes Mary Bowser’s suspenseful story—how she pretended to be illiterate, how she masterfully evaded detection, how she used her photographic memory to “copy” critical documents.
Using spycraft materials included in a sealed envelope inside the book, a canny reader will be able to discover and unravel clues embedded in the text and illustrations, and solve the book’s ultimate mystery: Where did Mary hide her secret diary?
Hey guys! So today, I’ve got a post for the Spy on History Blog Tour! When Workman approached me to participate in this tour, I really couldn’t contain my excitement about it. I love stories about spies and intrigue, and this one was really up my alley.
This book is a middle grade, and tells the tale of Mary Bowser, who was a real life African American spy for the union. When you read this story, you really get a sense of how her undercover operation really helped win the Civil War.
What I absolutely loved about this book was the fact that its up to the reader to figure out all the clues. You’re given a set of tools (which I’ll post a photo on my instagram @ahistoryofbooksblog) and you try to figure out which clues are real, and which ones are fake. I initially read through just the story first to get a real grasp on the story. Then I went back and tried to figure out all the little clues as to where Mary Bowser had hidden her diary.
This is a great book for middle grade students to start learning about the Civil War. If I had this book when I was in Elementary school, I would have absolutely loved it. Its a great interactive book, and it really had me putting on my thinking cap to try and figure out the mystery. I think this would be a great supplement for classrooms and learning about the different figures of the Civil War other than the obvious Generals, Presidents, etc.
Now, Workman Pub has asked me to answer this question: If you could go back to anytime or place in history, where would you put your spy skills to use?
So, I really love spy stories and my favorite video game, Assassin’s Creed, often involves being a spy and infiltrating various organizations. This is a tough question for me to answer! But if I were to pick one time in history, I think I would pick the French Revolution. Its one of my favorite revolutions to study, and there was definitely a lot going on behind closed doors that I would love to use my spy skills on!
Thank you to Workman Pub for asking me to be a part of this blog tour and for providing me with a copy of Spy on History. I had a lot of fun with this one!
If you would like to know more about the book, author, or illustrator:
Author: Enigma Alberti is the nom de plume of a secret cadre of authors who are each writing a book in the Spy on History series.
Illustrator: Tony Cliff is the author and artist behind the New York Times bestselling Delilah Dirk graphic novel series. Find more on Tony at www.tonycliff.com and @TangoCharlie on Twitter.
Where to buy: