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Upon Secrecy Hardcover – September 1, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4–6—This well-written book focuses on the most famous exploit of the Culper Spy Ring, a trusted group based in New York City that provided intelligence to General George Washington. In 1780, they alerted him to the British fleet's movements while the Americans were awaiting the arrival of French troops and naval support. Without this information and Washington's counter ruse, the American chances of winning the war were nil. With some fictionalizing of dialogue and thoughts, the story moves briskly, focusing on individual members of the spy ring and their roles in conveying the message to Washington. The acrylic illustrations are detailed and authentic, although a few characters appear wooden. Overall, the paintings are a pleasing addition, helping to bring some lesser-known war heroes to life. The book concludes with a helpful time line, an extensive bibliography, and a list of places to visit referenced in the book. Also of interest is information about "sympathetic stain," an invisible ink that enabled messages to be passed secretly. John Miklos's How the Revolutionary War Was Won (Enslow, 2008) is not as specific as Upon Secrecy.—Lisa Crandall, formerly at Capital Area District Library, Holt, MI END
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I've read a number of Castrovilla's books, and she has a real aptitude for capturing the feeling of periods of our past... I highly recommend this and all her books.