Moss, M., & Hendrix, J. (ill.) (2011). Nurse, soldier, spy: the story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War hero. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers. ISBN: 9780810997356
Annotation: After finding a home in the United States, Frank Thompson was eager to join the Union Army. What the Army didn’t know was that Frank was really Sarah, who went on to become a valued soldier and did many jobs, including spying on the Confederates.
Reaction: Sarah Emma Edmonds has a fascinating story, and I find it pretty amazing how long she was able to masquerade as a man. She was strong and brave and demonstrated the kind of attitude and drive that we should teach all our children to have. I enjoyed how much of her spirit Moss and Hendrix were able to communicate. Moss describes the beginning of her adventures in the Union Army, which seems to just be the beginning of Edmonds’ exciting life. I think it would fascinating to read more about her and the other women who were involved in the Civil War as soldiers and spies.
The illustrations are bright, hopeful and exciting. And I LOVE the way he used hand-drawn typography from Civil War-era posters to accent the text. It breaks it up and adds some excitement to Moss’s writing.
This book could be used in a 5th grade Civil War unit. The author includes a lot of factual information at the back of the book, as well as a glossary of terms that might be unfamiliar, a bibliography and an index.
Media Used: Pen and ink with fluid acrylic washes on Strathmore Velum Bristol.