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Girl In Blue Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439676460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439676465
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rinaldi (Coffin Quilt; Wolf by the Ears) delivers another fast-paced Civil War adventure, this time about a Michigan girl who masquerades as a Union soldier and then becomes a Pinkerton spy. Readers will immediately like 16-year-old Sarah, introduced just as she is planning to shoot at the lecherous widower whom her abusive father intends for her to marry. Before long, Sarah has enlisted in the Second Michigan under the alias Neddy Compton. Rinaldi rather quickly describes Sarah's efforts to conceal her identity (she cuts her hair and avoids the latrine), and more exacting readers may also wonder how she hides menstruation and breasts. On the other hand, the rapid narrative doesn't leave the audience too much time to question Rinaldi's devices. Sarah works for a Union doctor, enters into battle and shoots her first Rebel, then carries out a dying man's poignant last request. When her secret is at last discovered, she is pressed into service as a spy and thrust undercover as a maid for a notorious Confederate socialite and spy. There Sarah craftily deduces how her Mata Hari mistress ferrets messages behind enemy lines, and there, too, Sarah falls in love with the rakish Lieutenant Sheldon, who may or may not be a traitor. The relationships between the characters do not seem as strong as the narrative claims, however; fortunately, Sarah's force of personality is enough to hold readers. Ages 9-14.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-9-Inspired by the war fever of 1861, and tired of her father's mistreatment, 15-year-old Sarah Wheelock determines to run away and join the Union forces to fight the Confederacy. The last straw comes when her father promises her hand in marriage to a man who is twice her age and has the manners of a bear. After she cuts her hair, changes clothes, and lowers her voice, Sarah has few problems passing as a boy: years of hard farm labor have toughened her physically, and she has a natural talent for impersonation. Soon, young Private "Neddy Compton" is on the road to Washington, DC, with the 2nd Michigan Infantry. Despite being a model enlisted "man," Sarah is unmasked, and is transferred into the Secret Service, part of Allan Pinkerton's network of spies. Her acting skills are tested in a new and dangerous disguise, as a servant to notorious Rose Greenhow and other Southern sympathizers who are being held under house arrest. Here, the young woman's patriotism, loyalty, and intelligence will be tested beyond anything she experienced as a soldier. While Sarah and the other characters lack depth, Rinaldi's novel offers an exciting plot based on solid historical research.-Starr E. Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
53%
4 star
33%
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See all 43 customer reviews
This book is about a girl who runs away from home and joins the Union Army.
Christa Coffman
I have loved Ann Rinaldi's books since I was in 8th grade and the class was assigned to read In My Father's House.
Katrina
This is an intriguing, enjoyable story with a bold, engaging, and very admirable heroine.
Michael J. Mazza

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on September 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Girl in Blue is an excellent book. In this book, set in the times of the Civil War, Sarah Louisa in being harshly mistreated by her father and betrothed to an awful man who tries to touch her at every opportunity. Sarah knows she won't stand for it. She won't marry a man who she knows will beat her. So she disguises as a boy and runs away to join the army and fight for the Union. While entertaining people in the hospital, Mr. Pinkerton notices she has skil in mimicry. When her true sex is discovered, she is offered to become a spy. So the she works in a suspected spy for the Confederasy's house as a 'maid.' She learns to adapt to life in a world where she can trust know one. She also learns the true meaning of loyalty to one's country.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By hiphopgirl_1000 on August 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Desperate to flee the control of a demanding, abusive father and a marriage to her despicable neighbor Ezekie Kunkle, who is twice her age, sixteen-year-old Sarah runs away from home and cleverly disguises herself as a man and joins the 2nd Michigan Infantry during the Civil Wars. Posing as "Neddy Compton" Sarah soon learns the horrors of war as she participates in the battle of Bull Run. When her true identity is finally revealed, Sarah finds she must choose between jail or posing as a spie for Allan Pinkerton, head of the Pinkerton Detective Agensy, who observes that she has a talent in the art of mimicry. Not wanting to go to jail, Sarah agrees to pose as a spy to investigate Rose Greenhow, who is thought to be a spy for the Rebels. What Sarah doesn't expect is the lies, love, betrayal, and intrigue that will come with this new, dangerous job.
I am a big fan of Ann Rinaldi, and though "Girl in Blue" I felt was not her best work, it was still a pretty good book. Though at times the book was a little slow going, especially during the time Sarah does her spy work, it is still one to be read. If you like this book I am sure you will also enjoy Amelia's War, another Civil War historical by Ann Rinaldi.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nancy E. on April 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ever since she was 13 Sarah has known that she'd never give her life up to a man. But if her father gets his way she'll have to marry a horrible man twice her age that she detests. So when she learn that the Union is looking for soldiers, she disguises herself as a man and quickly signs up. She starts out as a male nurse and soon moves to battle. But when people find out her true sex they are shocked and impressed at Sara's gift for mimicry. They sign her up to work for a spy with Mr. Pinkerton and her first job, to find the Diary of secrets of a fiery confederate female spy, is tougher than she ever suspects.
I enjoyed this book very much, I read it all in one day. Sarah's tale is thrilling and accurate to the time it took place. If you enjoy suspenseful historical fiction novels with a bit of adventure and a dash of romance this is for you. Although it doesn't measure up to other Anne Rinaldi books I've read (I found her descriptions to be too brief as someone here already said and occasionally a bit forced) it's defiantly worth a look at. You'll read it in one day I guarantee it.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Sarah Louisa Wheelock grew up on a run-down Michigan farm with a domineering, abusive father, a timid mother unwilling to protect herself and her children, a crippled older brother, and two sisters, Clarice, who found her escape in marriage, and flirtatious Betsy, who could do no wrong in their father's eyes. At sixteen, Sarah longs for freedom even as the country is engulfed by the beginnings of the Civil War. Her father would have her married to their repulsive neighbor Ezekiel Kunkle, a man twice Sarah's age. But Sarah has her own plans. She runs away from home disguised as a boy and enlists in the Union Army. When her identity as a girl is discovered, Sarah is given two options - go to prison, or become a spy. Sarah chooses the latter. And undercover as a maid to Confederate agent Rose O'Neal Greenhow, Sarah becomes caught up in a dangerous conspiracy that could claim her life. Ann Rinaldi has written another thrilling historical novel. I reccomend this, her newest book, to all her fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Delynda D. Hendricks on December 10, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed the book because it gave me a new perspective on the city of Washington, DC and the Civil War than I had previously. I am a great fan of that time period and will further research the influence of the girls that served and the spies and their affects on the outcome of the war. I highly recommend this book to young readers and hope that it will inspire girls to follow their dreams whatever the cost.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Sarah runs away from home when she learns she's to be given in marriage to a hated older neighbor, and she joins the army disguised as a man and becomes part of the Civil War and its battles. When she's eventually discovered, she moves on to become a spy in a household where information smuggling is taking place even while under occupation. Civil war history comes alive under Rinaldi's hand in this fine story, based on real events.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wayne S. Walker on February 2, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is 1861 and Sarah Louisa Wheelock, age fifteen, lives on a farm near Casey's Mill, MI, with her father, mother, sister Betsy, and brother Ben. Her older sister Clarice is married. She has learned to hunt and ride better than any boy. Their abusive father, who beats both Sarah and her mother, plans to wed Sarah to their odious neighbor, Ezekiel Kunkle, who is a widower with two children. So she runs away, dresses as a boy named Neddie Compton, and joins the Union Army. As Neddy Sarah is sent to Washington, DC, but after the first Battle of Bull Run she is discovered. However, obviously being good at disguising herself and acting a part, she is recruited by Allan Pinkerton to serve as a maid in the home of the notorious Southern spy Rose Greenhow to help with surveillance and see if she can find out how Rose is sending messages. She begins to fall in love with Lt. Sheldon, head of the surveillance team, but then has reason to believe that he might be a traitor. Will her position be compromised so that she is found out again? And what should she do about Sheldon?
How weird is this! I obtain different books from different sources at different times and in different places and then put them in different piles to be read on different occasions. So the books that I am reading at any particular point are the result of happenstance. Back in 2011, I picked up some young people's Civil War fiction books while visiting in Gettysburg, one of which, No Girls Allowed by Alan Kay, is a completely fictional account of a girl who dresses as a boy to fight in the Union Army.
Read more ›
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More About the Author

ANN RINALDI is an award-winning author best known for bringing history vividly to life. A self-made writer and newspaper columnist for twenty-one years, Ms. Rinaldi attributes her interest in history to her son, who enlisted her to take part in historical reenactments up and down the East Coast. She lives with her husband in central New Jersey.

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