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Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  686 ratings  ·  137 reviews
This fast-paced, high-energy picture book tells the true story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who at age nineteen disguised herself as a man in order to fight in the Civil War. She took the name Frank Thompson and joined a Michigan army regiment to battle the Confederacy. Sarah excelled as a soldier and nurse on the battlefield. Because of her heroism, she was asked to become a sp ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Harry N. Abrams
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Betsy
May 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If I want to depress myself on a given day I'll compare the list of biographical subjects that kids in school are handed to pick and choose from with the biographical subjects that I had to pick and choose from when I was a kid some twenty odd years ago. It's disheartening. Essentially, it's the same list. Teachers always include Edison, Einstein, Washington, Tubman, Keller, etc. Once in a while someone will fall out of favor (Benjamin Banneker) to be replaced with someone new (Matthew Henson) b ...more
Abigail
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Readers Who Enjoy Biography, or Are Interested in the American Civil War
Author Marissa Moss and illustrator John Hendrix present the amazing true story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, AKA Frank Thompson, in this outstanding picture-book biography, successfully capturing both the excitement and adventure of their subject's life, and the tumultuous times in which she lived. Disguising herself as a man in order to escape an arranged marriage, Canadian-born Sarah emigrated south to Michigan, where she eventually enlisted in the Union Army during the American Civil War. A brave a ...more
orangerful
Fantastic middle grade picture book that focuses on the life of Sarah Edmonds AKA Frank Thompson, a young woman who pretended to be a man, joined the Union army during the United States Civil War. Well researched by both the author and artist, this would make a great read-aloud for an older classroom visit.
Dov Zeller
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great picture book, well researched with fantastic illustrations, describing the civil war experience of a person who was born female and lived as a guy during the civil war (and perhaps beyond). There were many female-born people who "passed" as men in order to fight during the civil war, and it is likely some of them were people who would today identify as trans, transgender or transmasculine.

What sets Frank Thompson aka Frank Thompson/Sarah Edmonds apart from others in similar shoe
...more
Danielle Harriger
Aug 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Biography PB 10: I would recommend this book because I think it tells of a unknown, yet courageous person in history that has a valuable story to tell. I appreciated that the book highlighted the value of persistence (as she was turned down initially be recruiters) because children can take away the idea that if they work hard at something, they can succeed despite hardship. I think the story of Sarah Edmonds has a strong message about standing up for what you want even in the face of diversity, ...more
Kate
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
Sarah Edmonds was kind of a Civil War era badass. She fled to the US from Canada when her parents tried too marry her off, where she lived as a man named Frank Thompson for 3 years. Eventually she joined the Union and became a spy, often using disguises to gather intelligence. She was highly successful until a bout of malaria forced her to sneak away from camp so she could get treated by a doctor as a woman. When she got better, she found out that Frank Thompson was wanted to desertion, so she r ...more
Tegan
What an amazing woman! Such an amazing life! What she did after the war is just as amazing as what she did during it! I really want to read her book, as well as those others published about her! Read for Info Books for Youth for grad school.
Jonah Garner
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
I didn't like the story telling, but liked the art.
Margaret Chind
Apr 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Margaret by: Laura Mihalick

Originally posted on Creative Madness Mama. 

Recommended to Margaret by: Laura Mihalick
Read in November, 2011 — I own a copy

Nurse Soldier Spy Civil War Hero Children

When I wanted to get information together to join a descendants group, my father, the genealogist, insisted that I join through a woman. I have no doubt that he would be delighted with the idea of this book. Though my descendant group was back to the revolutionary war I am certain anyone who could claim descendancy to Sarah Edmonds would be as proud as I am to my Sarah Butle
...more
Ewa
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The authors Marissa Moss and John Hendrix in this very engaging picture book "Nurse, Soldier, Spy. The story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero" present an extraordinary life story of the woman who “discovered the freedom of taking big strides unhindered by heavy skirts”. It tells the story of Sarah Emma Edmonds who is the first and only documented woman to become a soldier in the Civil War. Dressed like a man and pretending to be a man she showed courage and bravery but also emotional and physi ...more
Barbara
Aug 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: strong-women, ncbla
Filled with lively pen and ink illustrations, hand-drawn typography, and an engaging text, this story of Sarah Edmonds, a woman who disguised herself as a man to avoid an arranged marriage, follows Sarah as she enlists in the army during the Civil War as a private. Not only did she fight alongside the men who became her friends, but she also carried some of them from the battlefield and nursed them. Eventually, Sarah became a spy, slipping behind the Confederates' lines in order to bring back in ...more
Erin Wilson
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Drop any knowledge you thought you had on the Civil War. Did you know that there were women fighting? YES, women!! The intriguing stories of the hundreds of women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War are becoming more known through biographies just like this one. This book is centered around Sarah Edmonds who fled to Canada dressed as a man to escape an arranged marriage. She bravely enlisted in the Union Army to fight in the Civil War, and made a name for herself as a marks ...more
Shaeley Santiago
To avoid an arranged marriage, Sarah Edmonds dressed as a man and ran off to Canada. It worked out so well for her that she continued dressing as a man and eventually returned to Michigan where she signed up in the Union army under the name of Frank Thompson. Frank was involved in quite a few battles, served as a nurse, and even a spy.

I liked the illustrations in this colorful book and wish I had come across it a bit sooner when we were studying the Civil War.

holiday #bookaday
Donalyn
Sarah Edmonds was the only woman to be recognized as a Civil War veteran and awarded an honorable discharge, back pay and pension, and buried in the veterans' section of a Civil War cemetery. I had never heard of Sarah Edmonds before reading this book and I can't wait to share this well-reseached, fascinating book with my students.
Teresa
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I give the story itself 5 stars but I'm not too fond of the bobble-head look of the art and give that 2.5 stars so that averages out to be about 4 stars.

Sarah Edmonds' story is a fascinating one, as interesting as Mary Walkers' tale set around the same time. I think Edmonds' adventures were actually more dangerous and therefore exciting to read.
Stacy
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great introduction into a life we don't hear enough about--Sarah Edmonds, a woman who chose to live as a man before and during the Civil War. Cited for bravery, she was asked to spy on the South, and did so successfully. This short book chronicles her story, but she wrote her own.
Landon
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero, is a literary nonfiction picture book about a women named Sarah Edmonds who ran away from home because she didn't want to get married to a man that her parents had set up an arranged marriage with. So when Sarah ran away she escaped to The United States of America, where she disguised herself as a man and changed her name to Frank Thomson, so she could leave her whole life behind her. Sarah then one day saw a poster requesting fo ...more
Ben Truong
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero is a children's picture book written by Marissa Moss and illustrated by John Hendrix. It focuses on Edmonds' life as a young adult, as she assumes the identity of Frank Thompson and volunteers to join the army as a private.

Sarah Emma Edmonds was a Canadian-born woman who served as a man with the Union Army during the American Civil War. In 1992, she was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.

Moss' text is rather simplisti
...more
Teri-K
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the pretty amazing true story of a woman who disguised herself as a man and fought in the Civil War. She was a soldier, a field nurse, and a spy who used disguises like an African-American man or an Irish peddler woman. At one point accused of deserting when she ran away to get treatment for malaria rather than be found out to be a woman, she eventually received an honorable discharge and became the only woman to be admitted to the union Army's Civil War soldier's organization and later ...more
Lmichelleb
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kayla
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are several women who dressed as men during the Civil War, but so far as I know, Sara Emma Edmonds was the only one who actually lived as a man before enlisting in the army. At age 16 she ran away from her home in Canada to escape a marriage arranged by her parents. She crossed the border into Michigan and lived for several years disguised as a man by the name of Frank Thompson. At nineteen she enlisted in the Union Army. As the title of this book suggests, she filled many roles as a Union ...more
Jessica Silva
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Summary:
This biography tells the story of Sarah Emma Edmonds. She lived during the time of the Civil War, and at age 19 disguised herself as a man so she was able to fight. She joined the army under the name Frank Thompson. She acted as a soldier and nurse. She was asked to be a spy because of her actions.

Review:
This book is a window into the life of Sarah Edmonds, a female living during the Civil War. This book truly illustrates her strength and resilience as a woman who was ahead of her time.
...more
Jessica
What is a girl to do when her parents want her to dawn a wedding dress and marry a man of their choosing? Runs away, of course.

This girl had the gall to ditch her skirts and dress as a man to fight in the Civil War. She not only acted as a nurse and a soldier, but she went undercover as a slave to figure out how the Confederates knew about the Union's plans. Girl went hard. An amazing story of an amazing woman who fought against slavery when she herself was a white Canadian woman. She could have
...more
Cathy
This fast-paced, high-energy picture book tells the true story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who at age nineteen disguised herself as a man in order to fight in the Civil War. She took the name Frank Thompson and joined a Michigan army regiment to battle the Confederacy. Sarah excelled as a soldier and nurse on the battlefield. Because of her heroism, she was asked to become a spy.

Colorful and eye-catching style throughout the book. Very interesting - and as always be sure to read the author's note at
...more
Heidi Petterson
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle
Very well-done by the authors.

But, in this day of mixed up genders, I'm not sure how I liked this life-story. Sarah Emma Edmonds certainly did some remarkable things while disguised as a man. Her story as a nurse and spy for the Union Army was fantastic. And, it's true, I don't appreciate life as a woman in the 1800s. But I'm more inspired by women who accomplish great things while staying true to themselves.
Carrie
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Sarah Emma Edmonds felt so strongly about the Civil War that she disguised herself as a man to fight in the war, joining a Michigan regiment battling the Confederacy at the age of nineteen. Sarah was such a great soldier and nurse, she was requested as a spy. Will Sarah be able to keep her secret? How will her experience shape her life? Read Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds to find out more.
Heather Gunnell
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Staff Pick
Heather

The story of Frank Thompson/Sarah Emma Edmonds is a remarkable one. Sarah lived and fought as a man because of the freedom such a life gave her. As a soldier she held many different jobs, including the difficult and demanding jobs of nurse and spy. Read all about this amazing woman.
SLoMoe
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book makes me want to learn more about Sarah Emma Edmonds. I also want to learn other short stories about awesome women. This book was concise and engaging. I read the last page and my 8 yo said, “Wait?! That was it?!” He enjoyed her story and wanted more retelling of her adventures. Well done!
Tawnda Andrews
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this non-fiction tale about a woman who disguised herself as a man and served in the Union army. The author did a beautiful job and the illustrations are superb. Make sure you read the author and illustrator notes at the end and see the pictures of the subject at the back too. Perfect book to accompany any study of the Civil War or those who love war history or stories of bravery.
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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
...more

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