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Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy Hardcover – August 1, 2012
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About the Author
Nathan Hale is the illustrator of the graphic novel Rapunzel’s Revenge, which was an Al Roker Book Club for Kids selection, an ALA Notable Book, and a YALSA Great Graphic Novel for Teens and earned three starred reviews. He is also the illustrator of several picture books. He lives in Provo, Utah, with his wife and their two children.
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Top Customer Reviews
You might want more than one copy of this excellent, entertaining, memorable, slightly irreverent graphic book about Nathan Hale.
The premise of this book is a bit of magic realism: As Nathan Hale speaks his last words, a huge history book swallows him up. A few minutes later he emerges, starry eyed (but still with his hands tied behind his back), explaining that "I'm in the history book now" and that he has read the future history of America. He tells the enthralled hangman and the British soldier (who I take to be William Cunningham) the story of his life and of the beginnings of the American Revolution. When he comes to the end of his story, they want to know more, so like Scheherazade, he postpones his execution by spinning more tales, which will be a future series of graphic novels (I can't wait for the one about Benedict Arnold).
The book is very funny, with a lot of gallows humor--literally, since the frame story all takes place on the gallows. For example:
Hangman: Do you have any regrets?
Hale: I regret that I only have one life.
Hangman: Ha ha! Good one! If you had an extra life you could be hanged, then just walk away.
One of my favorite bits of silliness was this one: "George Washington. He's from Virginia. He looks like this." "Meh. This is my George. King George." "George vs. George. They sort of look the same." "By George! They do look the same."
There are also poignant moments, including this one, just after Hale comes out of the history book:
Hangman: Does it happen? Do you get hanged in the future?Read more ›
This was so much more than I had expected it to be. It simply was brilliant and an excellent read all round. Nathan Hale (writer) has done for American History what Rick Geary has done for 19th century crime. The two series are admirably similar in their focus and format bringing more information to the table on exciting events from the past through a totally enticing graphical format. Hale sets up his series by telling the story of the historical Nathan Hale as he is about to be hung, the man, his executioner and a British Guard are on the block when something happens which allows Hale to tell the story of his past which includes the story of the American Revolution up to this point. Told with extreme detail, I was quite amazed at how much I was actually interested in (and understood) the military strategy, battle details and reasonings behind various maneuvers. This part of war I'm not usually very interested in but Hale (author) has made it exciting and funny. Along with this detail, there is also the personal stories of the people involved in the war as they related to Hale (the spy). We learn about Henry Knox, George Washington, Thomas Knowlton, Benjamin Tallmadge and many others. I especially appreciated how Hale (the author) brought history alive with his humour; he sometimes goes beyond the scope of the book and makes comments about our world to the reader, he pokes great fun at these historical characters, making fun of strange names and strange circumstances. The executioner is my favourite character as he is the one he is not quite so "book-smart" and asks the questions and makes the comments the reader probably would.Read more ›
In 2012 Nathan Hale and Amulet Books started a series of graphic novels based on American History, under the banner (literally) "Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales." The first book in the series is "One Dead Spy," and it and the following books are interesting, easy to follow, and downright entertaining. I’m buying every one of them.
"One Dead Spy" is about Nathan Hale (the patriot), executed in 1776, at the very beginning of the American Revolution. The 128-page hardcover comic begins with Manhattan in flames, and a whistling Hangman bringing a noose to a gallows. He shoos a bald eagle away, and prepares Nathan Hale to be hanged. They’re soon joined by a British Officer, and these three will be the narrators for the rest of the book. Given an omniscient overview of American History, Hale sees what the destiny of the country is, and even though things look grim for the colonists (and more especially for Hale personally) in September 1776, he knows that there’s a brighter future. He proceeds to tell the Hangman and British Officer all about the American Revolution, focusing on the first year, and Hale’s role in it.
Nathan Hale makes a good narrator for the years 1775-76, and his path crosses with the likes of George Washington, Henry Knox, Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, General Howe and other notable heroes and villains of American History.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm a counselor for a mental health corporation. I work with kids that have social issues or learning disabilities that prevent them from attending school. This book is MAGICAL. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
Good book, my son loved it. Not 5 stars because the book arrived damaged. For almost $9 I expect the book to be in new condition. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mary Canada
This is an awesome way to teach the kids (and yourself) about the Revolutionary War. My 7-year old daughter read and fell in love with the Underground Abductor first and now won't... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nicole L Brown
Son loves this graphic novel history book - gives a good introduction to the story. I don't think he'd otherwise read a book about Nathan Hale, so I love that he's being introduced... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Scmx
Great way for kids to learn history. Wish he'd written this when I was young. Hope he writes more.Published 2 months ago by Robert C.