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Spies and Lies: Famous and Infamous Spies
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August 2018: Espionage > Spies and Lies: Famous and Infamous Spies by Susan Mitchell

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Joni | 606 comments I decided to go a different route with the espionage tag....children's nonfiction. I found something new that the kiddos I see daily at work may like. Something on the 2nd-4th grade level.

This book talks briefly on famous and not so famous spies in history.

Women, children and sometimes animals made better spies......because people didn't suspect them right away. In fact, Belle Boyd was a famous spy for the South during the Civil War. She became critical to General Jackson and his army. She was even awarded the Southern Cross of Honor for her bravery.

The North had their own female spy....Elizabeth Van Lew. She was so good that she was able to sneak information out of the very house that Southern president Jefferson Davis lived in.

One interesting fact that I learned was that chef Julia Child was a spy. She helped the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) with research and development. She was known to have developed a shark repellent to assist navy divers.

A German Nazi family, The Kuehn's, assisted the Japanese during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They were later found out and arrested, but not before the bombing took place.

Many people joined our branches of military and government and spied on our own country.

Animals were used as spies....the most popular ones would have been the homing pigeons during WWI and WWII. Small programmed cameras were attached to the pigeons and they flew of enemy territory, taking photos at different intervals. The pigeons would always return with the information.

One animal failure was Acoustic Kitty. Acoustic Kitty had a listening device implanted so it could eavesdrop. The idea was for the cat to get close to the person he was supposed to "listen" to. Well, agencies soon learned that you can't make a cat go where you want. :)

I enjoyed this little book. Great for kids. I will probably read the other books in this short series.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Good review and what a great book! I've not heard of this book. Great way to teach kids about some history. Animals are still used today in this capacity and it works great.


message 3: by Hebah (new)

Hebah (quietdissident) | 675 comments There's a lot of fun, informative children's nonfiction out there! My metro area hosts a librarian reading challenge each year from January to March to read children's and YA materials to improve our knowledge in those areas of the collection, and I always learn some interesting things from the nonfiction I read.

The note about using cats as spies but being unable to make the cats go where you want cracked me up.


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