ABOUT THE BOOK
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?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR/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 bestselling Delilah Dirk graphic novel series. Find more on Tony at www.tonycliff.com and @TangoCharlie on Twitter.
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I'm excited about this new Spy on History series. I not only enjoyed reading the story of Mary Bowser, but the interactive element is fabulous as well. As the reader digs into the adventures of Mary Bowser as she spies on the Confederate President Jefferson Davis during the Civil War, the book is full of clues and codes for the reader to try to figure out. Materials are even included to help the reader figure things out. And this isn't an easy task. I'm eager to go back and give the clues my full attention now that I've finished reading the book. The answers are included in a sealed section at the back of the book. I am especially appreciative of the fact that this book looks at the efforts of an African American woman whose work was not fully appreciated at the time. I'm eager to read the adventures of the other people highlighted in this developing series. This book may not work well in a library because of the interactive elements but it would make a great gift for young mystery/spy enthusiasts. Because so little is known about Mary Bowser the book is of necessity, historical fiction. The author's note at the end explains what information is accurate and what had to be surmised.
QUESTION: If you could go back to anytime or place in history, where would you put your spy skills to use?
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