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A Soldier's Secret: The Incredible True Story of Sarah Edmonds, Civil War Hero

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  478 ratings  ·  115 reviews
The story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who masqueraded as a man named Frank Thompson during the Civil War. Among her many adventures, she was a nurse on the battlefield and a spy for the Union Army, and was captured by (and escaped from) the Confederates. The novel is narrated by Sarah, offering readers an in-depth look not only at the Civil War but also at her journey to self-d ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Harry N. Abrams
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Grace This is written as a historical fiction book, but it is is based on a true story. Most of the facts, events, and even the fellow soldiers are accurate…moreThis is written as a historical fiction book, but it is is based on a true story. Most of the facts, events, and even the fellow soldiers are accurate to the true story.(less)
Grace It is written as a fiction book, but is based on a true story. Most of the facts, events, and characters are based on the true story of Sarah Emma Edm…moreIt is written as a fiction book, but is based on a true story. Most of the facts, events, and characters are based on the true story of Sarah Emma Edmonds.(less)

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Start your review of A Soldier's Secret: The Incredible True Story of Sarah Edmonds, Civil War Hero
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
What it says on the tin: this is the story of a young woman who ran away from her life, and created a new one wearing trousers. Her life as a girl was intolerable, so she reinvented herself as a man, and when the Civil War came along she, or rather he, enlisted in a spirit of determined patriotism, and became the best soldier in his unit – and a nurse, devoted to his patients, and postmaster (which I never really realized was so dangerous) and attaché and Union spy. And in two years of service t ...more
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who masqueraded as a man named Frank Thompson during the Civil War. Among her many adventures, she was a nurse on the battlefield and a spy for the Union Army, and was captured by (and escaped from) the Confederates. The novel is narrated by Sarah, offering readers an in-depth look not only at the Civil War but also at her journey to self-discovery as she grapples with living a lie and falling in love with one of her fellow soldiers.

This book intrigued me
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
The book started out well, and after a few chapters I felt it going downhill. The story kept changing, and when it wasn't changing it was repetetive. Alot of the descriptions were a waist of time and I just skipped passages at a time (Something I never do).
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren D
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mrs. Prodoehl
Block 4
Lauren D
Quarter 3 Book Review on A Soldier’s Secret
Lexile Value: 860
A soldier's Secret by Marissa Moss is written in the first-person point of view of Sara Edmonds, a civil war hero. While this book is fiction, Sarah Edmonds really did live during the Civil War, and some of the books events actually took place. Sarah Edmonds, as a child was raised on a farm in Canada along with her mother, father, and brother. Sarah's father was very physically and verbally abusive towards h
Tyler Melton
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tyler Melton
Mr. Herman
Issues In Nonfiction
November 1, 2018
A Soldier’s Secret
In the book “A Soldier’s Secret” you have 1 main character. Her real name is Sarah Edmonds, but in the book, her name is Frank Thompson. The reason for this was because she was serving in the military and at the time, girls weren’t allowed to serve in war. When Sarah was very young she lived with her mother and her father. Sarah and her father never got along. He would always abuse her and hit her.
One of
Jai Menon
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Soldier's Secret: The Incredible True Story of Sarah Edmonds, Civil War Hero, by: Marissa Moss, is an overall good historical fiction. doing fictional retelling of a young woman searching for a place in the world where it was taboo for things like that at the time. It excelled at retelling the life of Sarah Edmonds, a very interesting person with a long backstory, while still filling in the gaps to tell a good novel, making it good for most people, weather it be for knowledge or story time. I ...more
Dec 02, 2019 added it
The book I read was a soldier's secret the book was about a girl sarah edmonds. She grew l up on a farm with an abusive father. she then runs away and lives her life as frank thompson a male in the 1800s who works a dangerous job.

What I liked most about the book was the will power of “frank thompson” she feared every moment of what she did but that didn't stop her she fought in the war was a nurse and a spy
While in love with her comrade i think the theme the author is trying to portray is “don't
Jonathan Ng
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
This was an amazing book, and one that I truly enjoyed because of the time in history the book is set in. The civil war is a topic that really interests me, and I have always loved to read about it, regardless of non fiction or fiction. This was an excellent story telling about a female soldier named Sarah Edmonds, who struggled to disguise herself, while at the same time fitting into the all-man US Army. Her disguise was that of Frank Thompson, and in this disguise she served as a nurse, while ...more
Gladys Lim
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Nothing wrong with how a female decided to up and change her whole life and become a boy during that period. That is actually amazing how she decided to do that.

Is just that the story aspect is not interesting, and the author edit her life to the point that only interesting parts were left behind. And like in real life, not everything that is interesting would be amazing. Especially since is in the war period. Which kinds of sucks.

I would not re-read the book, and I would not recommend it unle
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
This is young adult historical fiction about a fascinating Civil War soldier. The writing is solid overall and certainly held my attention but is undermined by over-the-top descriptions of the protagonist’s romantic feelings, which I think also weaken the portrayal of an incredible real-life individual. Although I read this book to my 8-yo, it really is a young adult book. Even aside from the violence of war, the book is rife with profanity, and the sexual innuendo is probably inappropriate for ...more
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was enjoyable to read. Sarah Emma Edmunds is an incredible character. I respect her desire to enter the army as a man and fight for her country and her ability to work with all the concerns associated with avoiding discovery.
Mariesa Beal
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Emma Edmonds, also known as Frank Thompson, is one of the bravest people, I believe, that played a role in the Civil War. Her bravery and willpower are larger than anyone else's I know of, even mine. Putting myself in Sarah’s shoes, I would absolutely want to masquerade as a man fighting in the Union army especially after living a life of misery back at her farm in Canada. I can understand Sarah’s strong desire for freedom and to prove herself to the world. I seek adventure and opportuniti ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 7th-grade-1
This book is the perfect example of a heroic girl fighting for freedom. This determined 19 year old girl steps out of her abusive household and heads out to war. She finds herself fighting, falling in love and proving what's right and what's wrong.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Adult
This book was full of action and adventure. What one would call a page turner. Although, this is a very detailed, and sometimes even a gory novel. This book is a little too romantic for my taste as well.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Slow starter for me. Definitely worth hanging in there! I read it out loud during a road trip, and my husband enjoyed it as well.
Morning Glory
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-16
Sarah Emma Emmonds is my hero! Little-known woman who passed as a soldier in the Union army and worked in the hospital.
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“I know you love your country,” the man says kindly, “but you’ll need to grow up a bit before you join the army.” He looks at my peachy cheeks, free of any sign of a whisker. “We aren’t taking sixteen-year-olds.”

Frank Thompson silently debated with the old man in his head. He realized he looked more like a boy than a man, but he truly was 19-years-old and plenty old enough to fight for the Union. Three years ago he began working and supporting himself with odd jobs as he moved away from what he
Gretchen Hohmeyer
I picked this one up on a whim from NetGalley, because I really do adore historical fiction. Typically I don’t read Civil War stuff, and I thought it would be a good change. It struck me as something akin to those “Dear America” books I read as a child, so why not, right?

However, straight from the get go, I could see problems with this book emerging. The narrator comes off as stiff and emotionless. The First Battle of Bull Run is also steamrolled right through–as is everything else until about
Margo Tanenbaum
Laurie Halse Anderson once wrote in her blog that she preferred to call her historical books "historical thrillers" rather than "historical fiction," given that many kids and teens associate historical fiction with BORING. However, it's not every historical fiction title that can be justly called a "thriller." With A Soldier's Secret, Marissa Moss definitely joins the club of historical thriller writers for teens. Based on the true story of Civil War hero Sarah Edmonds, who enlisted in the Union ...more
Wayne Walker
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Did you know that there were over 400 women who are known to have dressed as men and fought during the U. S. Civil War? One of them was nineteen-year-old Sarah Emma Edmonds, a native of New Brunswick, Canada, who at age sixteen ran away from a drunken father who abused her and a forced marriage to a repulsive neighbor. She dressed as a young man named Frank Thompson, came to Hartford, CN, and became a traveling bookseller for a publishing company. The firm sent Frank west, and in Flint, MI, he d ...more
This is actually the second book I've read on Sarah Edmonds, the first being the much shorter Behind Rebel Lines, which I read quite some years ago now so, length aside, I can't really compare the two. This one was, however, much more in-depth and at times seemed like a minute-by-minute account of the Civil War: every battle, every retreat, every Union victory and defeat. Which meant that in places it started to feel a little long and repetitive as well, but it was still really interesting becau ...more
Sara Latta
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Frank Thompson wasn’t your ordinary Civil War soldier. For starters, Frank was extraordinarily versatile, serving as a nurse, mail carrier, and a spy. By all accounts, Frank was unusually brave. And while Frank was slight of build, with cheeks as smooth as a girls’, the same could be said of many underage boys who enlisted to help fight for their country.
But Frank was no underage boy. Frank’s real name was Sarah Emma Edmonds, a young woman who had been living as a man for three years before en
Abigail Singer
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have always been attracted to stories of women dressing up as men and going off to fight so it seemed natural for me to claim this book from my friend who picked it up at Book Expo America 2012 and didn't want it.

Growing up, my mom was fond of getting me historical fiction to read, I"m not sure if it was because she liked it herself or because she wanted me to learn something while getting a good story out of it. Either way, it gave me a good understanding of history and I discovered in my ea
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received an email from Abrams & Chronicles (thanks for sending me the book) if I wanted to read this book and even though it's not my normal kind of book it sounded interesting so I thought I would give it a try and I'm glad I did.

The cover doesn't exactly draw me in but once I had read the story the cover explained itself. It's the title that actually drew me in so I'm glad it's in the centre of the book and bold making it eye catching.

I loved that this story was based on a true story as it g

I requested this book because I love the history of the American Civil War and I was not familiar with any stories about women disguising themselves as men in order to serve as soldiers although I knew that it had happened.

In this case, we have a novelized version of the story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, undercover as Frank Thompson from even before the war. She fled an abusive father and forced marriage in Canada, exchanging petticoats and corsets for the freedom of pants and lived as a traveli
Jun 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
I suppose, if I knew nothing about Sarah Emma Edmonds/Frank Thompson, if I knew nothing of women who disguised themselves to fight in the Civil War, if I enjoyed sappy romances....I might have enjoyed the story. But I didn't. Because Sarah Emma Edmonds/Frank Thompson was one of my heroines growing up. I read fictitious stories, biographies, any story I could get my hands on about her or the females who disguised themselves to fight. And so while I picked this book up with deep interest, I should ...more
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“Truth is ofttimes stranger than fiction…” So it was written of Sarah Edmonds, a.k.a. Frank Thompson, within legislation debated and enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1884. The law officially acknowledged the secret life Sarah had lived as Private Frank Thompson of the Second Regiment of the Michigan Infantry Volunteers during the Civil War, and granted her an honorable discharge and veteran’s pension. Sarah, one of approximately 400 women to serve secretly during the Civil War, was the first an ...more
Jessica Harrison
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
full review at Cracking the Cover

Some of the best stories are based in truth. Such is the case with “A Soldier’s Secret: The Incredible True Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero.”

Sarah Emma Edmonds fought in the Civil War. That wouldn’t be such a novel idea if she had been a man, but it was almost unheard of for a woman to serve as a soldier. Sarah dressed as a man and used the name Frank Thompson.

Sarah became Frank before the war, finding she was able to move freely and accomplish more when
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Who is Marissa Moss anyway?

I’ve been making children’s books for a looooong time. I sent my first picture book to publishers when I was nine, but it wasn’t very good and they didn’t publish it. I didn’t try again until I was a grown-up and then it took five years of sending out stories, getting them rejected, revising them and sending them back over and over until I got my first book. Now I’ve pub

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