Frank Thompson: Her Civil War Story

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9780027881851: Frank Thompson: Her Civil War Story

Provides a fascinating portrait of Sarah Emma Edmondson, a young Canadian woman who disguised herself as a man to avoid an unwanted marriage and distinguished herself during the Civil War by masquerading as a male nurse and spy for the Union Army.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-8-- A biography of an unusual young woman who played a significant role in the Civil War. Emma Edmunds was 15 when she ran away from her rural Canadian home to avoid a forced marriage. She disguised herself as a man and moved to the United States. When war was declared in 1860, she joined the Union Army as Frank Thompson and became a nurse, serving in field hospitals during some of the bloodiest battles. She eventually became a spy, daring numerous sorties behind enemy lines. In 1863, she deserted the army, possibly because she suspected that her secret had been discovered, or perhaps because she was too ill and injured to continue. This book contributes information in an area not frequently examined--the role of women in the Union Army. However, the writing is rough and often simplistic; transitions between events are jerky. At times ideas are introduced and then abandoned, yet the book is effective. The author draws heavily from Edmonds's memoirs, Nurse and Spy in the Union Army , and quotes it extensively. This adds immediacy and impact, as it reveals the nature of the subject as she saw herself. The military plans and movements are logically explained, making places and battles real and understandable. Reit's Behind Rebel Lines (HBJ, 1988) is smoother in style, and is more typical of biographies for middle school readers; it avoids controversial aspects of Edmonds's life and lacks the sense of involvement with her and the Civil War that is the strength of Stevens's book. Reproductions from Edmonds's autobiography are included; while historically interesting, they don't add significantly to the story. --Carrol McCarthy, Tower Hill School, Wilmington, DE
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Stevens soundly advises readers to make up their own minds about the accuracy of each episode in the life of "Frank Thompson," in reality Emma Edmonds (1841-1898), a Canadian-born woman who ran away from an arranged marriage, disguised herself as a man and served in the Union Army. Emma is a nurse at first, but a flair for mimicry allows her to work as a mail carrier and then as a spy, and her identity is never fully discovered. She becomes a true hero, saving lives and even donating proceeds from her bestselling 1865 autobiography to sick soldiers, but this adaptation of her life is somehow flat, functioning as neither a war story nor one of narrow escape. Stevens' briefer treatment of a similar heroine ( Deborah Sampson Goes to War ) held more excitement. Illustrated with photos and engravings from Edmonds's own book. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Stevens, Bryna
Published by Simon & Schuster (Juv) (1992)
ISBN 10: 0027881857 ISBN 13: 9780027881851
New Quantity Available: 2
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Murray Media
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Book Description Simon & Schuster (Juv), 1992. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110027881857

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