October 2, 2014
Top Secret Files: World War II by Stephanie Bearce
Top Secret Files: World War II
by Stephanie Bearce
From Josephine Baker to explosive balloons and baseball player Moe Berg. All this and more is in the pages of this book. Bearce has defintely created a series that will hook young readers and make them want to know more about hstory. She’s done it by telling them about the things that aren’t generally covered in history books or lessons.
Each book in this series has five sections: Secrets, Spies, Special Missions, Secret Weapons and Secret Forces. Since I live in St. Louis, I especially enjoyed reading about Baker who is from just across the river. As a female entertainer, she could move about more freely than other people and soldiers, even officers, often spoke freely in front of her. She became a valuable spy for the French.
Bearce has also written about the secret codes, covering both the Nazi’s Enigma machine and the Bletchley Park code breakers who worked so hard to set up a similar device working with a stolen machine. She has also written about a variety of men and women who worked as spies. Many of the successful spies were women simply because soldiers didn’t automatically suspect a house wife or cute girl of being an enemy agent.
Another part that I really enjoyed was reading about two secret cities. One was real and located in Tennessee. The other was a fake, used to hide the facilities where air craft were built.
As with other books in this series, Bearce avoids overwhelming her readers by delivering the information in easy digestible chunks. A reluctant reader can stop after reading about Josephine Baker while a more eager reader can devour the entire section on spies.
Readers who are especially intrigued by the topic will find a list of resources in the back of the book.
Bearce presents a wide variety of information, describing the world of Americans, Candadians, British, French, Germans and Russians. She has even included a princess from India. Bearce is a former teacher and she knows both how to hook her readers and how to deliver the facts.
Pick this one up for history buffs, those who aren’t sure and even adult enthusiasts. Each will find something new in this book.