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Soldier's Secret: The Story of Deborah Sampson

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  238 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
In the 1700s, women's responsibilities were primarily child rearing and household duties. But Deborah Sampson wanted more from life. She wanted to read, to travel—and to fight for her country's independence. When the colonies went to war with the British in 1775, Deborah was intent on being part of the action. Seeing no other option, she disguised herself in a man's unifor ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Tara Chevrestt
Deborah Sampson really existed. She was a Massachusetts gal who donned a pair of britches and fought in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary war. This is a fictional account of her life, parts of it anyway...

To read the full review, please click on the following link:

http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/2010/...
Rebecca L. Snowe
This book was fantastic.
It is amazing how weak and stupid men used to (And sadly some still do) think that us women are when there are countless examples of how equal we are to them as in the story of the brave heroine Deborah Sampson who didn't accept her 'role' in society and did what she wanted to do, fight for her country.
Just reading this book made me mad (Because of the injustices suffered by women), glad (Because of Deborah's spunk and feminist spirit even before the word had been invente
...more
Michyla Tucker
Deborah Sampson just wanted the same opportunities men have/had. Basically in the 1700's during the revolutionary war women didn't have the same opportunities as men. Women's responsibilities were taking care of their child and cleaning up there homes. But Deborah Sampson wanted more for herself. Her only problem was that she was a women. The theme of the story was if you put your mind to anything you can do it.

The title relates to the book because the soldier does have a secret the secret is t
...more
Allison
Klass, Sheila Solomon Soldier’s Secret: The Story of Deborah Sampson pgs. 215 Henry Holt and Co. Language~G, Sexual Content~PG; Violence~PG-13

“In the 1700s, women's responsibilities were primarily child rearing and household duties. But Deborah Sampson wanted more from life. She wanted to read, to travel—and to fight for her country’s independence.” from front flap

Growing up Deborah Sampson was a head strong girl, always going against convention. It is no surprise that when she turned 18 and was
...more
Marcia
Deborah Sampson's story is incredible; a woman disguising herself convincingly and becoming a soldier during the Revolutionary War. Hard to fathom, really. I love the time period and her bravery. It is a great story.
I grabbed this book for a quick read as it hasn't circulated and I was debating whether to weed it. The problem for me is it is fictionalized. I want a straight biography. I think that's why it hasn't gone out--- middle schoolers who may be interested in studying Sampson need straigh
...more
Abby
Jul 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in one afternoon, and it was satisfying, even though it was only 200 pages long. I liked Deborah Sampson's narrating voice, except for that little whine of feminism that the author let slip through sometimes. But for the most part, I get it; Deborah Sampson did break the rules by enlisting to be a soldier. Overall it was an enjoyable read.
Kaelyn Medina
It was good for my Deborah Sampson report.
Jordan
I read Soldiers Secret The Story of Deborah Sampson written by Sheila Solomon Klass and this book is based on the time period in the American Revolutionary War in 1775-1783. In this book Deborah is sent to war to fight against the British, but girls aren't supposed to be in the war. Deborah is sent to the army (p.64) and is a woman and they aren't supposed to be there. She left her mother at home. Deborah is very nice and peaceful. She does not like to fight or be in the army (p.21,30). The sto ...more
Anthony
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, an average woman in the late 1700's with, at the time, inhuman thoughts about joining the army. She eventually does, but not before camouflaging herself as a boy. So does this book fire the musket into the readers favorite section, or will it be sliced in half by the redcoats?

To start off, we get an entry point that has absolutely no effect on the story later. Good job, guys. Basicly, Deborah Sampson, or Robert Schultz (I think. Correct me if I'm wrong)as her boy name, tries to fake her deat
...more
Rebecca
Deborah Sampson is one of many women who disguised themselves as men to join the Revolution. In this fictionalized biography, Deborah’s mother gave her away at the age of five, and indentured her as a servant at the age of eight. When Deborah finally escapes at age eighteen, she seeks more freedom than the culture allows women, and starts experimenting with male dress. Eventually, she flees an unwanted suitor and joins the Continental Army, maintaining her deception for well over a year. She par ...more
Handd51
Feb 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful story and a factually supported account of the life of Deborah Sampson, who fought in the American Revolution under the boy's name of Robert Shurtliff. She fought with distinction and maintained her secret until the 1783 Yellow Fever epidemic in Philadelphia. A doctor discovered her, and sheilded her secret until her recovery. Her superiors were shocked tolearn the truth, and gave her an honorable discharge despite rules against women in the military. The book brings revoluti ...more
Sarah
There was a book about Deborah Sampson that I read a lot as a child, so when I saw there was a new book about her that was getting good reviews, I knew I had to check it out.

I was not disappointed at all; this is an engrossing, well-balanced book, which, though written for a younger audience, is still extremely enjoyable for adults. I never once was bored, nor did I ever feel like the book was talking down to me. The author is honest and forthright about war and the sorts of people who were figh
...more
Kerrie
Mar 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My 6th grader and I read this together as part of his Revolutionary War history study. It's based on a real historical figure so that made it even more interesting. There are some references to womanly functions (periods) and a couple to sex, but nothing direct and in your face. It gave nice accounting of a young woman who disguised herself as a man in order to join the Patriot army. There's not a huge amount of information about the war itself, but it did give some insight into life during that ...more
Jennifer
I could not fall in love with this novel, but I was compelled by Deborah Sampson's story. Sampson fought in the Continental army during the American Revolution for 17 months before anyone realized that she was a woman in disguise. She was noted for her bravery and given an honorable discharge. That's crazy, and this is the first time I had ever heard about it. Klass sets up the novel well and explains all those things you would wonder about a woman hiding in an army unit: bathing, urination, and ...more
Heather
This enjoyable historical fiction novel creates a possible story and details for the period of Deborah Sampson's Revolutionary War enlistment. (Deborah Sampson was a real person, but most known details of her life are before and after her military service.) At the age of 21, and disguised as a man, she enlists in the army. The novel celebrates the women who fought in the war in disguise, and shows some of the possible struggles they might have gone through to maintain their secrets. It also crea ...more
Paper Clippers
In the 1700s, women’s responsibilities were primarily child rearing and household duties. But Deborah Sampson wanted more from life. She wanted to read, to travel—and to fight for her country’s independence. When the colonies went to war with the British in 1775, Deborah was intent on being part of the action. Seeing no other option, she disguised herself in a man’s uniform and served in the Continental army for more than a year, her identity hidden from her fellow soldiers.
The above is the summ
...more
Morgan
Nov 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Soldier’s Secret is based on the life of Deborah Sampson, a real, but often forgotten heroine of American History. It’s 1783 and Deborah Sampson has just earned her freedom from indentured servitude. Inspired to support the rebel cause, she disguises herself as a man and enlists in the Continental Army. Full of action, romance, and suspense, Soldier’s Secret is an exhilarating story that both genders age twelve and older will enjoy.
Abbi
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a great book that showed true determination and courage in the face of danger. Even though the setting was in 1860's Deborah goes through many trials that we face today, such as equality issues, peer presure, and standing up for yourself. You don't just hear the story, but get to relive the past in another person's shoes. Overall I would say this book was full of adventure, and passion of a girl's heart against slavery.
Maddie
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: outside-reading
This book was one of the only historical fiction book I've read. This is a great story in the time of the American Revolution. This books main character is an empowering woman, Deborah Sampson. She wanted more out of life than just washing clothes and taking care of the house. So she runs away and joins the Continental Army under the name Robert Shurfliff. She disguises herself as a man to fight for her country. This book to me was a great book and showed that women can do just as much as men.
April
Oct 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every since I wrote my first elementary school essay on Molly Pitcher, the idea of women having to pretend to be men to fight in wars has fascinated me. I really enjoyed this book. I had to wait forever to get it from the library and when it finally came, Lena and I read it in two nights. I really loved the language and point of view in this one.
Shiralea Woodhouse
Oct 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit
Wow - a really cool fictionalized true story of a heroine of the Revolutionary War...that's right, a heroINE. Deborah Sampson, after being an indentured servant for 10 years, disguised herself as a young man and signed up as a soldier and served her new-born country well. This is really a well written and interesting story told in her own voice (as imagined by the author, of course.) :)
Jenny
Oct 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one. I read it in a few hours and then quickly passed it on to my mother who read it just as fast. It was written well enough to make you believe that every aspect was real, not just the basic storyline. I loved Deborah's sarcastic voice at the first and how she matured by the end. Simple yet heart wrenching it left me wanting more.
Mari
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this historical fiction novel of the life of Deborah Sampson, a young woman who disguised herself and fought as a soldier during the Revolutionary War. It is told in a 1st person narrative which makes it very engaging. A section at the back tells the reader what is actually known about Sampson's life.
Kidsbookworm
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a book that I recall being titled Deborah when I was in middle school. I must have read it a half dozen times, I liked it so much. When I was looking for Deborah, I didn't find that title anywhere, but chose this version of her story.

It's a very good book, but definitely not the one I read when I was in middle school. This is more for a high school student.
MissSusie
Oct 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This was an interesting biographical fiction. These stories of women dressing up as men to fight in the war always fascinate me, but for some reason this one took me awhile to read. I don't know if it was the writing or me because the story was good and interesting but it just didn’t hold me it was to easy to put down. I would recommend it to young readers.
Ricki
Mar 05, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a nice creative nonfiction that tells the story of Deborah Sampson, a "throw-away" child in the late 1700s who decides to join the Revolutionary War, disguised as a male soldier. I found the historical information interesting but I wasn't incredibly attached or emotionally invested in the characters.
Jenny
This is a look at a woman fighting in the Revolution, not the Civil War, which intrigued me. Based on a true story, Deborah Sampson chose to dress as a man and served in the army for almost two years, and was given an honorable discharge under her assumed name, even though she had been discovered when she contracted yellow fever and a doctor found out when checking for a heartbeat.
Sharon
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like historical fiction about brave women who overcome obstacle after obstacle and persevere to become their own person, you will enjoy this book about Deborah, who at age 21 disguised herself as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War.
Shaya
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Art
Interesting look at Deborah Sampson & women in the Continental Army.
Writer writes as well as Ann Rinaldi.
Good look at medicine practiced during Rev. War.
Why do women want to fight in War?
Had some good answers to this question and had me ask several others.
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SHEILA SOLOMON KLASS has been writing fiction for young adults for nearly five decades. Her books include The Uncivil War; Shooting Star: A Novel About Annie Oakley; and Little Women Next Door. Ms. Klass lives in New York City.
More about Sheila Solomon Klass...

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