March 2, 2015
Top Secret Files: The American Revolution by Stephanie Bearce
Top Secret Files:
The American Revolution
by Stephanie Bearce
I’m a history buff so I read a lot on various periods, both fiction and nonfiction. When an author comes up with things I don’t know about well known figures, it surprises me. Bearce has done it again.
As with the other books in the series, this one is all abou spies, secret missions and facts long hidden. I was a little surprised when she started with George Washington. Seriously? Washington? I may know a lot about ol’ George, but I didn’t know he had worked as a spy for the British.
In addition to giving readers little known information on big names like Washington, Bearce also sets the record straight about a few people that readers may have heard of but actually know very little about. Everyone knows Benedict Arnold traitor, but Bearce fills in the details about how he first fought for the US and then later turned spy. The one that really pulled me in was Paul Revere. Bearce not only fills readers in on the details of the big ride but she also tells a bit more about Revere’s day job as a silver smith. It wasn’t just fancy dishes. Revere also did dental work and had worked as on early forensics investigator.
In addition to well-known figures, Bearce pulls in hereos I had never heard of including Nancy Morgan Hart from Georgia who not only spied but fought hand to hand. Then there was Peter Francisco, a giant of a man who carried a canon on his shouldiers to keep the British from capturing it.
As always, Bearce’s books are peppered with hands on activities from sharp shooting (safe to do indoors) and writing invisible messages.
The information is quirky and fascinating which will help turn young readers on to history. Written in brief chapters, this book is suitable for reluctant readers who will be able to read for a while and then take a break.
Unlike some series, each of these books stands on its own. You can start with the American Revolution since it came first. Or read about World War II if that is a favorite time period. Wherever you start, you are going to want to pick up the other books in the series to see what other authors haven’t been telling you!