Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review: Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent: How Daring Slaves and Free Blacks Spied for the Union During the Civil War Hardcover by Thomas B. Allen

Synopsis: It's 1863. Harriet Tubman is facing one of the biggest—and most dangerous— challenges of her life. She has survived her master's lash, escaped from slavery, and risked her life countless times to lead runaway slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Now she has a new role—that of Union spy! The outcome of a secret night raid deep into Confederate territory depends on the accuracy of the intelligence she and other black spies have gathered. Success will mean freedom for hundreds of slaves. Failure will mean death by hanging. 
You are about to enter the undercover world of African-American spies—enslaved and free—risking everything in the name of freedom. How were the Underground Railroad and slave songs used to pass secret messages? What were "contrabands" and "Black Dispatches?" What did Harriet have in common with the Secret Six and a maidservant in the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis? You'll discover these answers and more as the action unfolds. (From the back of the book)
Review: I pick this up during my first foray into a newly discovered used bookstore. I'll read anything about Harriet Tubman, but this book in particular caught my eye because it's not a bigraphy, per se, but focuses more on her role as spy during the Civil War. Included are small stories about other slaves who worked as spies, often risky life and freedom in doing so. The book is cleverly designed, using pictures and script reminiscent of the time. Quick and easy, with clear prose and exciting stories, I'd recommend this to anyone interested in a starting point for further research. In particular, this would be an excellent read for elementary age children who are interested in the Civil War and Slavery.

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

Date Finished: 9-8-2013
Pages: 192

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