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SPY! by Anna Myers


by Anna Myers

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8027-9742-1
Publisher: Walker

It’s tough to provide any suspense in a story about Nathan Hale, whose hanging for being a spy is so well known, so Myers invents a young student of Hale’s from his Connecticut classroom to carry readers’ interest. Jonah Hawkins is eager to learn, but too poor to pay school fees. Hale has arrived to teach at the local school and proceeds to ask his own brother, Samuel, a known Tory with a business connection to the Hawkins family, to provide for Jonah. When their father dies, Samuel’s feeling of responsibility extends to practically adopting Jonah and his pretty, older sister, Mercy. The politics of war and rebellion are explored as this small community hears the news of the likely war to come. As the militias convert to an actual army under General Washington, Hale joins to support the cause even as his brother and Jonah head for the British stronghold in New York. Somewhat bland and idealized in the historical detail, the ethical dilemmas involved are nevertheless crisply conveyed, as is Jonah’s admiration for his hero. (Historical fiction. 8-12)