Play Book Tag discussion

August 2018: Espionage > One Dead Spy by Nathan Hale - 4&5 stars respectively

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message 1: by Amy N. (new)

Amy N. | 256 comments I gave this four stars for how fun it is as just a story, but a full five stars for educational merit.

Nathan Hale the historical figure was the first spy in the Revolutionary War, and Nathan Hale the artist and author of this book seems to have been named after him. I believe this is the first in a series of graphic novel retellings of various interesting events throughout history. The book doesn't just tell Hale's life story, it gives context for and provides a brief overview of the early part of the Revolutionary War. As someone who's been through more than one history class, I technically knew most of the stuff already. But this story brought all of it to life in a way that it never has been for me before. For instance, I don't think I'll ever forget what the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought for now, even though I'm sure I've learned it before and forgot.

Nathan Hale the Artist's line work seems simple at first glance, but it's unusually expressive, which adds to the entertainment value, and although there are silly little jokes in there to help keep kids' attention, they are at least actually funny, and sometimes serve the greater narrative. It isn't all jokey, either. There are moments of real emotion, and the character used as a stand-in for the British point of view gets a few chances to share his side of the story: the British are not painted as mustache twirling villains here.

This is the same author that drew Rapunzel's Revenge, an old west retelling of Rapunzel that I cannot recommend highly enough, and he brings the same skill to this project. I see it go in and out of the library all the time, and I'm glad this month's tag compelled me to pick it up, because I don't think I would have otherwise.

message 2: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) One Dead Spy for the link.
After just reading a YA bio of Benedict Arnold, I'm not ready for more of this setting... but this Hale book does look good.

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