Girls find strong role models in this collection of biographies of real-life women who weren't content to sit back and let events unfold as wars raged around them. These women spies -- from chef Julia Child and Civil War activist Harriet Tubman to lesser-known figures in the world of espionage -- chose the perilous route of standing up for their beliefs and taking action -- leaving the safety and comfort of their homes to fight for the causes they believed in. Courageous and resourceful, these women often pioneered new technologies -- such as satellites, robots, and unmanned spy planes -- to gather intelligence. Emily Geiger, Josephine Baker, Josepha Ortiz de Dominguez, and Eva Wu are just a few of the courageous women featured in this book. Interspersed with these exciting tales are fun activities for girls, such as how to make a spy camera, an undercover spy disguise, and invisible ink, and spy factoids on "escape and evasion" scarves, lipstick pistols, and "topoquilts" used during the Civil War.
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Grade 5-8–This collection features 26 women who spied in wartimes, from the Anglo-Dutch Wars in 1640 to the Cold War era. Harriet Tubman and Belle Boyd are discussed in the Civil War chapter. Singer Josephine Baker is included for her participation in the French Resistance. Also featured are many lesser-known women such as Leona Vicario Roo, who helped lead Mexico's revolution against Spanish rule, and France's Marthe Richer, a double agent during World War I. An introduction to each chapter briefly describes the conflict and the nature of the divided loyalties. Individual stories are prefaced by a small photo or drawing and a bit of first-person narration or fictionalized dialogue. These brief enticements are much livelier than the profiles that follow. Readers will be intrigued, nonetheless, by the bravado shown by women who risked their lives relaying vital information to their cause and were often sentenced to death for treason. Spy trivia and craft activities are interspersed throughout. The lack of an index makes this title better suited to general interest reading than for reports.–Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
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