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Alias Dragonfly

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  99 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Fifteen years old. Wanted: Dead or Alive.

"Don't love a spy," warns fifteen-year-old Pinkerton agent Maddie Bradford, a lonely, rebellious outsider with a mind on fire and a photographic memory. It is 1861, the Civil War has just started and this motherless teen must move with her soldier-father from New Hampshire to Washington, DC-a city at war, packed cheek by jowl with
161 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Bell Bridge Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 22, 2012 Jennifer rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jane Singer's "Alias Dragonfly" is written from the perspective of a young woman acting as a spy for the Union during the Civil War, following the death of her mother and her father's serving time as a soldier. Yet given a fascinating premise where 15-year old Maddie Bradford, sporting a photographic memory, is said to be recounting her spy activities and encountering enemies in a journey full of "dips and dangers" - I found it progressed quite pedantic compared to what the premise makes it out ...more
Nov 16, 2011 Nicolle rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, war, american
Alias Dragonfly is an easy to read young adult novel with a fascinating story line which had me on the edge of my seat.

Jane Singer established the character of Maddie in an emotion packed and dramatic way, conveying what happened in her past in short bursts throughout the book. The book is written in a diary form from Maddie's point of view, which I thought was a great way to get across Maddie's thoughts and feelings of the war going on and her special ability.
The plot was origional, one I h
Jan 17, 2012 Brandy rated it really liked it
Maddie has always been considered different in her small New Hampshire town. After a childhood accident left her with amazing observation skills and memory, she was always different than the others in her hometown and was regarded as an oddity. With the Civil War breaking out and her father joining the Union forces, Maddie has to stay with her Aunt Salome in a DC boarding house. While her father and aunt want her to stay out of trouble and be a proper young lady, all Maddie wants is to be involv ...more
Book Review originally published here:

Original plot, but predictable every now and then. Maddie is a likeable protagonist, and the setting was unique and entertaining and historically correct, as far as I can say. The ending is a bit abrupt though, and slightly dissapointing.
Dec 11, 2011 Christine rated it really liked it
“Alias Dragonfly” starts with an intense scene in which 15 year old Maddie Bradford is in a confrontation with another girl and appears to be in grave danger. This turns out to be a dream Maddie is relating, but then the actual story begins which is just as dramatic. Maddie’s mother Jenny died 6 months ago and she and her father are still in mourning. Now, Maddie must move in with an aunt she doesn’t know in a totally new place. Her father has joined the Union Army to fight in the Civil War and ...more
Alice in Readerland
Apr 10, 2012 Alice in Readerland rated it liked it
Title: Alias Firefly
Author: Jane Singer
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Publishing Date: November 2011
ISBN: 9781611940411
I received this title courtesy of NetGalley

“You might pass me on the street and not even know it.” Maddie tells us in chapter one, “I could be the one-armed beggar with a half-moon scar on her forehead, the orphan under the gas lamp selling wilted violets, or the young woman in crimson velvet awaiting her escort to one of President Lincoln’s White House balls.”

It’s 1861
Jul 09, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it
In a needed departure from science fiction and fantasy, Alias Dragonfly is a historical novel set during the Civil War. From the onset one realizes that the author, Jane Singer, knows her stuff when it comes to documenting actual events that took place in our nation’s capital over a hundred years ago. The scenery comes alive with raw sights and sounds of battle and of those civilians living their lives within the bounds of war. Add to this a fifteen-year-old female spy and you have all the makin ...more
for more of my reviews and the better version of this one please visit my blog

note: thanks to the author and Netgalley for letting me read and review this book. It's not what I usually read, but I liked it :)

the book:
Fifteen years old. Wanted: Dead or Alive.

"Don't love a spy," warns fifteen-year-old Pinkerton agent Maddie Bradford, a lonely, rebellious outsider with a mind on fire and a photographic memory. It is 1861, the Civil War has just started and this
Amy Denim
Jan 09, 2012 Amy Denim rated it liked it
Shelves: amazon-freebies
15 year-old Maddie Bradford becomes a Pinkerton spy during the Civil War.
Now, before you pu-shaw (say it out loud) this concept know that the author is a Civil War historian and through her research not only discovered that Allan Pinkerton hired women as spies, but that he placed one in the home of a Confederate socialite Washingtonian as a governess.
I really loved Maddie's character. She's a little bit broken (fell from a tree as a child), she's also got a photographic memory. She's always thou
Nov 05, 2011 Katy rated it liked it
I didn't like this book as much as would have liked. The premise had potential, but the story was rather dull. For a girl who is supposed to be a spy during the Civil War, the events in the book were rather uninteresting.

First of all, I felt like I was reading a long version of the first few chapters of a book instead of a whole book. What I mean is, I thought this book was going to be about Maddie's spying adventures. But the whole book was pretty much led to Maddie becoming a spy, and the acti
Crystal (Kris)
Review copied from original post at Imaginary Reads

When I saw that this was a book about a Union spy, I expected it to be filled with suspense and action. However, the story lags for the first half--I would not have finished this novel if I hadn't wanted to see the spy action--and then runs too quickly in the second half. Even then, it ends all too soon without much spy action.

The beginning is about Maddie's dad joining the Union army and Maddie worrying about him while adjusting to life in her
Danica Page (One Page at a Time)
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off, let me say that I'm so glad that I accepted this book for review on Netgalley, because I loved loved loved this book.

I'm a succor for spy books and historical fiction. Basically, I love this entire genre, so I went into this novel with very high expectations. I was also fairly confident that this book wouldn't live up to my expectations. And I was right, it didn't live up to my expectations--it surpassed them. This novel was even better than I had hope
Aug 21, 2012 SheLove2Read rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Some call this conflict between the North and the South the Civil War. That's a bunch of bosh! There is nothing civil about it. After more than a year it still rages, destroying everything in its path. And here I am smack in the middle of it, a girl of fifteen who never believed she's fit in anywhere, let alone contribute to a great cause. In spite of the danger, I am bursting proud to do my part. Bursting proud and changed forever.

This was the first book I've run across by Jane Singer and it's
Nov 04, 2011 Rhonda rated it it was amazing
I love how brave Maddie and everyone who was risking their lives for their beliefs no matter what side of the war they were on. Maddie story kept me riveted did not put the book down till it was through.
At the ending are a bunch of study guide questions that help you to think more deeply. After that is a list of which characters are based on real people. Plus their is a list of books about different subjects of the civil war era.
Maddie was 15 at start of the war. Her mother had died just mo
Vanya D.
Jan 22, 2012 Vanya D. rated it really liked it
I requested this book from NetGalley because it sounded really intriguing. Besides, I've never read books from the Civil War, and of course the idea of a female teenage spy really captured my attention.

I don't think I regret choosing this novel. It was actually pretty good. Not top of the rack good, but still good enough to recommend to anyone who likes exploring the underworld of secrets, spies and detectives.

The heroine, Maddie, aka Dragonfly, was a really captivating character, who totally wo
Mar 13, 2012 Heidi rated it liked it
I quite enjoyed this book. Maddie proved to be the kind of character I like best, fiesty, but smart. She is willing to lay her life on the line for what she believes in and what she believes in fiercely is family. She has lost her mother and is determined not to lose her father. After being sent back to her aunt's boarding house after running away to find her father, Maddie determines that the best way to get her father back in one piece is to help end the war. So, she becomes a spy. Her photogr ...more
Desiree reilly
Feb 03, 2013 Desiree reilly rated it it was amazing
I am going to tell you a story of Maddie, she live with her Dad and then the time this take affect is when the war was going between the north and the south.Lincoln wanted me to fight and her dad said honey i got to go and fight and try to win.Well Maddie lost her mom when she was 6 so all she had was dad and then now she going to Washington City to live with her dad sister.

Maddie has not been in the city long till she go to look for her dad she thinks she can find her dad and then tell him she
Alice Law
The stage was set during Civil War, when United State was under the ruling of Abraham Lincoln. Fifteen years old Madeline Eve Bradford and her father Summoner Bradford sided Union(The Yankee), fought against the Confederate, the Rebel that despised and mistreated the slave(The Negros). While she was boarding with her Aunt Salome, she also met Jake Whitestone (or PAN the journalist), who she had an inclination to. Jake was later joined her as a Union spy.The first half of the book revolves around ...more
Nov 21, 2011 Mickey rated it liked it
Recommends it for: young gals
OK, now really, "Feminine Power!" and all that jazz, but I think I've heard this story before.

1. Sometime in the past

2. Girl is upset about being thought of as second-rate because of her gender

3. Girl transcends gender barrier to become hero

4. Girl falls back into gender stereotype by going gaga when a cute boy is around

*Sigh*...will we never learn?

This is the common outline for Alias Dragonfly that was an entertaining, if overly fluffy and predictable, quick read in the hunting cabin. My favor
Tara Chevrestt
Female Spy, Civil War.. and for once, on the Union side... I saw this and declared I must read it.

The synopsis: Maddie is fifteen, her mother is dead, her father is off to fight in the Civil War, and she's been dumped at her Confederate loving aunt's boarding house. She finds herself in the middle of intrigue and ends up recruited by Pinkerton agents as a spy. Turns out Maddie has a really good eye..

I should've loved it, but I didn't. Nothing wrong with the writing style, let's get that out the
Feb 07, 2012 Claire rated it really liked it
Jane Singer is a a Civil war historian, who has taken all her knowledge and written a fantastic novel out of it. Alias Dragonfly is about a girl name Maddie Bradshaw, a 15year-old girl, who remembers everything. Her mother is dead, her dad signed up for the Civil War, and she had to stay with her horrible Aunt at her boardinghouse.

Maddie, unwilling to lose her father, ends up on a mission to find him and stay with him, a mission the turns out to be spying for a man name Mr Pinkerton. Along the w
This was a pretty enjoyable quick read. To me, it's a good sign when I want to find out more - about the characters, the story, the author, etc. - upon finishing the book. There are some awkward sections, where the interactions didn't seem quite right, but it was easy to overlook those parts in terms of overall quality of the story being told, which was very intriguing.

Clean Reads Warning: 1-2 profanities repeated throughout the story. Some mentions of sexual situations, though not explicit.
Feb 27, 2012 Cindy rated it liked it
Received free copy for review. Told in first person, phrases like “odd as a five legged goose” stick with you for a long time. Set during the Civil War, Dragonfly is recruited by Pinkerton to spy for the Union and she becomes good at it. With the smell of cigar smoke and gunpowder, the story has an immediacy that has you reading faster and faster. Before you know it, you have to leave Dragonfly and wait for the next book. Rather obviously the first in the series. A really good read.
Angelina Justice
Dec 09, 2011 Angelina Justice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, historical
I really enjoyed this book. The civil war is not one of my favorite eras to read about, fact or fiction. Far too often the stories get bogged down with battle speak and politics. This book actually peaked my interest concerning espionage and divided loyalties concerning the civil war.

I love the heroine and her unique abilities which are attributed to scientific, medical causes instead of the supernatural. I love that Singer uses actual historical figures as central characters.
Chrystal Oates
Jan 10, 2012 Chrystal Oates rated it really liked it
Great book. My only complaint is that it ended with so many open questions. I got this one for free on my kindle.

It is about a young teenager in Washington DC during the Civil War and it follows her as a Pinkerton Spy. There are a few twists and turns that kept me guessing. It was a fast read.

I will buy the next in the series for my kindle.
Jan 06, 2012 Naomi rated it liked it
I enjoyed this quick read which is about a girl who spies during the Civil War. Although it wasn't a rock your world book, I think it is a good book for the young adult audience it is targeted towards.
Jan 07, 2012 Nykki rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this read. The drama seemed to never stop and each character had personality. The hisorical setting and glimpses of how the black population were treated in America at that point of time were also an interest. Very well written.
Mar 02, 2012 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
My rating :3 on 5

Even though I don't like historical books, I found it good. For me it was pretty fun to read even if there was some parts of the book that I found really slow to read.

What I like about the book is how you can watch how the main character reacts towards situations.
Jan 05, 2012 Valerie rated it really liked it
fairly simple and an easy read. a satisfying book
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