Thursday, February 23, 2012

Of Course You Know, This Means War

Alias Dragonfly by Jane Singer (Bell Bridge Books, 2011, 178pp.)

Maddie Bradford has never been one to sit idle, and she’s worried to death about her father, a soldier in the Union army. After being sent to live in D.C. with her only other living relative, a Confederate-sympathizing aunt, she’s desperate to help bring the war to close. This is when she meets Timothy Webster, a man posing as a Rebel, who recognizes her flawless recall skills and photographic memory as excellent attributes for a spy. He invites her to become part of Allan Pinkerton’s spy ring, a real-life historical organization that first hired women to work as spies. Singer uses an interesting, little-known bit of factual history as the basis for her material. The first half of the novel is slow going, but once the action starts teens will be turning pages till the end. Recommended for teens Ages 13-15.