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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A page-turning middle-grade adaptation of the New York Times bestseller about George Washington's top-secret spy ring that helped defeat the British. The American Revolution is well under way in 1776, but things are looking bleak for General George Washington and his Continental Army. With Washington's hasty retreat from New York City in August, many think the war might soon be over. After all: how on earth is this ragtag group going to defeat its enemy, the well-trained and well-funded military of the largest empire in history? But Washington soon realizes he can't win with military might. Instead, he must outsmart the British, so he creates a sophisticated intelligence network: the top-secret Culper Spy Ring. Drawing on extensive research, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger tell the fascinating stories of these long unrecognized spies: a reserved merchant, a tavern keeper, a brash young longshoreman, a curmudgeonly Long Island bachelor, a coffeehouse owner, and a mysterious woman. …

George Washington’s Secret Six

by Brian Klimeade and Don Yaeger

Overall Book Review:

This book is a fascinating read on George Washington’s secret spy ring:  The Culper Ring. I personally did not know about this ring until this book. The writing is clear and the chapters are no more than a few pages each, making the information easy to obtain and process. There is historical artwork on nearly every page with captions illustrating the story as it progresses.

The objective of this book is to get young readers interested in historical events and to see these historical figures as the superheroes they are. This book would appeal to history buffs as well as those learning it for the first time. It has the feel of the National Treasure movies with secret codes, invisible ink, espionage, etc.

In the appendixes there is more information on how to make, use, and reveal invisible ink as well as other books listed on secret codes for further learning. There is also a timeline of events, a list of selected sources, and an index.

This book is an adaptation of The New York Times Bestseller with the same name written for adults. Although, I have not read the adult version, I do feel that this adaptation is very well done for the younger audience.

Review of an Advance Reading Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Sentinel

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  Report of gunshot which led to confrontations which led to war; report of battering the British; report of heavy losses of life and limb; implied violence by statement of potential to run out of people to fight; threat of refusal leading to being shot; report of dead, wounded, missing, and captured men following a battle; threat of being shot on sight, being captured, and being hung; reference to being sitting ducks to cannons; description of traditional battle – 2 armies firing at each other for hours or days; man sentenced to be hung; man hung – statement of his body ceasing to swing; threat of a trip to the gallows; father of character was beaten; report of public lashings; report of protestors being hung; report of pits being dug with spikes inside with the intent to wound men who fell into them; a hand drawn picture of a man being hung; report of an injury; report of destruction of property; report of men coming to blows; report of hard fought skirmishes; report of the deaths of 8 people; report of an abandoned ship with prisoners on board – their fates unknown; reports of battles and attacks.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

War; death; espionage; hanging.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Report of massive hangovers; report of gaining information over bottles of wine.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My favorite books are ones that change me and my perceptions of the world in a significant way. My favorite genre is probably historical fiction with biographies as a close second.