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Phoebe the Spy

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,103 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Someone is planning to kill George Washington, and young Phoebe Fraunces is trying to save his life. Phoebe gets a job as George Washington's housekeeper, but her real job is to work as a spy. She listens and watches very carefully, and she meets her father every day to tell him what she has learned. One day Phoebe's father tells her that Washington is planning to leave to ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published August 5th 2002 by Puffin Books (first published January 1st 1977)
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Sep 22, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
This was a fabulous read, lots of fun for kids to get a different perspective of George Washington and revolutionary times from a young black girl's eyes. This is the true story of how a little free black girl and her father saved George Washington's life. I Highly recommend it! Grades 2-6
Jan 17, 2011 SCES rated it really liked it
Shelves: r
This is a great little (true) story about how an African-American girl saved the life of George Washington. This would be a great addition to your study of the American Revolution. Kids seemed to enjoy! Many wonder why they have never heard of the story. -Susan
Shannon Cahill
Oct 09, 2014 Shannon Cahill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mommy, liam, evan, caden, quinn, rylan
Kids enjoyed this book. Very good story! Would read again. Used for Week 5 for George Washington.
Laura Verret
Jul 04, 2015 Laura Verret rated it it was amazing
I love stories set during the American War for Independence…

The Story.

Phoebe’s father, Samuel Fraunces, owns the Queen’s Head Tavern in New York. Although not openly a patriot, he believes fiercely in the cause for freedom and allows patriots to hold meetings in his tavern.

It is through these connections that Mr. Fraunces first hears reports that an attempt will be made to assassinate General Washington – but no one knows how or by whom the assassination attempt will be made. Mr. Fraunces knows
Feb 02, 2015 Joy rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, 2015-reads
This is a fascinating, historical story about a brave little girl. It's about a girl named Phoebe who helps prevent an assassination attempt on George Washington during the American Revolution. Phoebe is a hardworking, steadfast girl and an unlikely, inspiring heroine. The story is a glimpse into the revolutionary period. While the book states that it's based on a true story, and many of the characters were real people, most of the story is fiction.

There was a plot to kill George Washington. Th
Jan 21, 2010 Elise rated it really liked it
This is a fairly easy to read book (although I wouldn't classify it as a reader). I love to find "easy" books for children that have compelling characters, interesting action, historical contexts and especially ones that inspire bravery. This book does all of that, and it's enjoyable.
How a young girl discovers an assassination plot. The murderer is someone who is friendly and brings her gifts. Her watchfulness saves the day. Perfect for discussion with kids about who you can trust and what it means to be a hero.
Apr 11, 2009 Nicholeen rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book about the revolution. I think I am going to suggest it to the Liberty Girls, instead of Felicity. I just need to find other books to go with it. Any ideas?
Stephen Bauer
In 1776, a free black man, the owner of a tavern in New York, sends his young daughter work as a domestic in George Washington's house for the purpose of listening for information about a suspected plot to kill Washington by someone on his staff. I liked the story, the social, and historical context. As per the author's note at the end, the story is largely historically accurate. The black man was named Samuel Fraunces, and his saloon is the site of the present day Fraunces Tavern in lower Manha ...more
Jan 16, 2012 Ekram rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 30, 2011 Rachael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brave-women
I enjoyed this book, which I totally found by chance on the shelf at the Library, but it really left me curious and wanting more. The author's note at the end states that the book is essentially historically accurate, but what does that mean really? She says that Phoebe's father, Samuel Fraunces, really did own a tavern in New York City in the 1700s and he was rewarded for his loyalty to the newly organized USA. In fact, I found out online, that the Tavern is still open and serves very expensive ...more
Melissa De Wever
Jul 12, 2015 Melissa De Wever rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
Nice piece of historical fiction. Still trying to find a good life theme for a person to take from it; likely, to "speak little and listen much" or "loyalty is more than appearances."
The tale is quite inspirational, promoting an underdog being an important part of a large picture. Very sweet, but should be presented and prefaced as fiction.
Miss Amanda
gr 2-6? 45 pgs

American Revolution, NYC. Phoebe's father, owner of Fraunces Tavern, overhears a plot to assassinate General George Washington. In order to find out more, Phoebe is sent to work as a maid in General Washington's headquarters. Phoebe has to decide who she can trust...

May 20, 2010 Avaladez1 rated it it was ok
The story of this text was very confusing and interesting at the same time. Its about a young female spy working for a rich family to spy on a certain indidvidual who has been working on a way to take the family's wealth. D uring the final chapter the crook makes his well thought out plan to take the family's wealth. Not knowing the sopposed daughter Phobe was a spy for the local authorities they upprehanded the crook and took him into coustedy.
The reason I chose this book is because during su
May 08, 2014 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
My kids enjoyed this book so much they asked me to read it again. My daughter enjoyed it because a girl saves the day. My son liked it because he is a history buff. Oh, and I liked it too! Highly recommend!
Mar 28, 2015 Carly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considering the historical fiction that's typically marketed towards children, it's refreshing to see a book that focuses on the role of marginalized groups in early America.
Julia Lee
May 12, 2016 Julia Lee rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book to supplement American Revolution history for your elementary reader. Discuss with your reader that this is a mixture of non-fiction and fiction.
Sep 28, 2015 Jodi rated it really liked it
This story was based on truth which is why I found it interesting--otherwise it wouldn't have done much for me. My youngest especially loved it!
Jun 15, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it
I read this book in preparation for a third-grade reading group. It's amazing that I'm still learning things at my age! Interesting true story about a thirteen-year-old black girl's role in preventing the assassination of General George Washington.
Jul 20, 2015 Anna rated it really liked it
Loved this early chapter book about a black free girl who helped foil an assassination plot during the Revolutionary War.
Mar 16, 2014 Catherine rated it really liked it
Very interesting and suspenseful story about a little known attempt on George Washington's life and the free black teenager who saved him.
Valerie Basham
Jul 11, 2014 Valerie Basham rated it it was amazing
Short, gripping story. A great way to introduce elementary age kids to history. Loved it!
Nov 29, 2015 Carrie rated it it was amazing
My 8-year old loved this! It was such an interesting true story.
Feb 17, 2014 Anne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young readers
Recommended to Anne by: Sonlight
Shelves: sonlight-books
Fun little historical read; and we now have a new spot to visit the next time we're in NYC!
Nov 05, 2014 Melanie rated it liked it
Great true story
Denise Cooper
Aug 19, 2014 Denise Cooper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So darn cute
Nicole Flores
Apr 10, 2011 Nicole Flores rated it really liked it
Shelves: social-studies
This children's book is interesting because it keeps the children in suspense. Phoebe is a woman assigned by her father to be a spy around George Washington Her mission is to find out who is trying to murder him. As the story unfolds the children learn how Phoebe solves this mystery. Iwould use this book during my American Revolution Unit for literature circlereading. Although the book is fiction there are many historical facts that reinforce what the children are learning in class.
Jennifer Heise
Feb 01, 2016 Jennifer Heise rated it really liked it
A very nice, short story about a young black girl serving as Washington's housekeeper during the Rev. War and saving him from being assassinated. It's based on historical stories, but those stories seem to be unsubstantiated:

Would be a good reading for a critical thinking discussion in 3rd or 4th grade about the Rev. War.
Aug 13, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my absolute favorite books and I loved using it in my 4th grade classroom. I love Phoebe, I love George Washington, I love the mystery and the twist. I love this book so much that I want to name my dog Phoebe the Spy. Fortunately for the dog, my husband thinks this is a terrible idea.
Jun 26, 2013 Marilyn rated it really liked it
The dedication in this book is to Jean Fritz. This is very appropriate. It reads like an easy reader Jean Fritz book with an element of mystery. We loved this book. It's so amazing to try and imagine revolutionary times. I'm looking forward to visiting this tavern in New York.
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