Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Secrets of American History Revolutionary War The Founding Fathers Were Spies

Ready to read has produced a leveled reader American History series, Secrets of American History.  I was pleased to see this because parents, teachers, and homeschooling families often are looking for independent reading material for children that engages and provides independent non-fiction reading opportunities for their students.

The Founding Fathers Were Spies!: Revolutionary War (Secrets of American History)is a Level 3 reader and while it gives a brief and not very interesting introduction to the war, the book's main purpose is to introduce students to the topic of Colonial spying during the Revolutionary War.

I think sometimes the author's feel compelled to do more than the book allows, which weakens the over all success of the book. The introduction to the war is terrible. However, the information the book was written to cover is well written and age appropriate. It covers a wide range of material that often isn't covered for elementary students about the importance of intelligence work in Washington's efforts to win the war.

The author challenges students to think about how communication occurred in a world before electronic communication and then proceeds to explain how those challenges were met in very creative ways. My two favorite stories were about how women participated in the spying because they were often around the British when their homes were occupied. One story discusses a woman using buttons as a means of communicating secret messages. Another discusses how hanging laundry became a communication system that could be used for a variety of alerts.

Recently more adult literature and movies have been discussing Washington's Culper Spy Ring. This book presents this bit of history in a very child friendly format. Many children are fascinated by secret codes, invisible ink, and spies who carry secret messages in their shoes. This book explains it was all part of the efforts to win the Revolutionary War. The back section of the book even includes a recipe for invisible ink.

This is an accessible independent reader for elementary students studying the American Revolution.

1 comment:

  1. Oooh! This does sound like a great way to learn all about the secret coding. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Love to Learn. Pinned.