Skip to:Content
|
Bottom
Cover image for A soldier's secret : the incredible true story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War hero
Title:
A soldier's secret : the incredible true story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War hero
ISBN:
9781419704277
Publication Information:
New York : Amulet Books/Abrams, 2012.
Physical Description:
387 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Reading Level:
860 L Lexile
Summary:
Nineteen-year-old Sarah masquerades as a man during the Civil War, serving as a nurse on the battlefield and a spy for the Union Army, escaping from the Confederates, and falling in love with one of her fellow soldiers. Based on the life of Sarah Emma Edmonds.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Copies
Status
Searching...
Book TEEN FICTION MOS 1 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book TEEN FICTION MOS 1 2
Searching...
Searching...
Book TEEN FICTION MOS 1 1
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Historical fiction at its best, this novel by bestselling author Marissa Moss tells the story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who masqueraded as a man named Frank Thompson during the Civil War. Among her many adventures, she was a nurse on the battlefield and a spy for the Union Army, and was captured by (and escaped from) the Confederates. The novel is narrated by Sarah, offering readers an in-depth look not only at the Civil War but also at her journey to self-discovery as she grapples with living a lie and falling in love with one of her fellow soldiers.Using historical materials to build the foundation of the story, Moss has crafted a captivating novel for the YA audience. The book includes a Civil War timeline, archival photos, a glossary of names, and a detailed note on sources.Praise for A Soldier's SecretSTARRED REVIEWS"A female Civil War soldier is brought alive for readers...Moss convincingly but never gratuitously portrays the gore, horror and boredom of war. An intimate look at a soldier's life from a compelling, historical perspective."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review"A captivating piece of YA historical fiction."--Publishers Weekly, starred review"Moss combines fiction with biography in this compelling account...Many battles are graphically described, and the novel is crammed with atmosphere and detail."--Bay Area News Group"Whether a valiant soldier or angel of mercy, Sarah is a brave and loyal historical figure, well deserving of readers' attention."--School Library Journal"Moss' novel offers a fascinating, first-person portrait."--Booklist"The novel is well-written, vividly capturing the drama of Edmonds' story as well as larger wartime realities."--Library Media Connection


Author Notes

Marissa Moss began as an illustrator of children's books. She is the author and illustrator of the Amelia series. She has written and illustrated more than 20 children's books including Amelia's Notebook, which was named a 1997 American Booksellers Association Pick of the Lists book. Her other books include Regina's Big Mistake and Knick Knack Paddywack.

My Notebook (with Help from Amelia) also won the 2000 Parent Council Outstanding Award Informational and Oh Boy, Amelia! won the 2001 Parent's Guide to Children's Media Award and the 2002 Children's Choice Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-This novel is based on the life of a real woman who escapes her abusive childhood home and an arranged marriage. Given the time in history, Sarah's options are limited. She reinvents herself as "Frank Thompson" and eventually enlists in the Union Army. She narrates her experiences as a soldier, nurse, courier, and spy, and describes the challenges of keeping up her masquerade. Despite the nearly constant terror of living as a soldier, Sarah is fulfilled by contributing to the war effort and experiencing her own power, even if it means she must suppress her feelings toward Jerome, a fellow nurse. The fine points of how she is able to successfully hide her body for years in tight quarters and the authentic dialogue are convincing. Horrific realities of war are not glossed over: amputations, disease, carnage, and pain are described in gritty, but never gratuitous, detail. Period photographs, a Civil War time line, and biographical information about officers further immerse readers in this memorable novel. Whether a valiant soldier or angel of mercy, Sarah is a brave and loyal historical figure, well deserving of readers' attention.-Sherry J. Mills, Hazelwood East High School, St. Louis, MO (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Moss returns to the subject of her 2011 picture book Nurse, Soldier, Spy with a captivating piece of YA historical fiction based on the daring life of Civil War heroine Sarah Emma Edmonds. Sarah is raised on a farm by her abusive father, and she runs away before he can marry her off. Out of necessity, Sarah assumes the identity of a man, Frank Thompson, working as a traveling book salesman, among other odd jobs. At 19, she volunteers for the Union Army of the Potomac, with the aim of gaining the power and independence she's been denied. Sarah is grateful for the camaraderie and sense of purpose the army provides her, but she is surrounded by suffering and death. Her duties as a nurse, soldier, mail carrier, spy, and writer require her to don many isolating masks and to endure a long-unrequited love. Writing in a sharp-witted, picaresque style, Moss gives Sarah a candid and perceptive voice. Historical materials including letters, photographs, and a timeline further enrich an epic as adept at depicting Civil War horrors as it is at exploring the politics of gender. Ages 12-up. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

A female Civil War soldier is brought alive for readers. Though 19 years old, Frank Thompson is rejected the first time he tries to join the Union Army: He looks too young. Three months later, the conscriptors aren't so picky, and Frank signs on as a "nurse," a mostly untrained orderly who pulls injured soldiers off battlefields, holds them down during amputations and writes to their loved ones if they die. With his stamina, determination and genuinely caring nature, Frank excels, and he is soon given riskier duties: first, postmaster, responsible for carrying mail to the front lines; second, spy, where Frank proves a master at disguise. And no wonder: Frank is a woman. Sarah Edmonds, Canadian by birth, first passed for a boy to escape her abusive father and an arranged marriage; after the war, she became the only female to receive a soldiers' pension. Moss' moving first-person narration, based largely on Edmonds' own autobiography and other first-person documents, shows Frank gradually finding in her war comrades the close-knit and loving family she never had, while becoming increasingly valued for her courage and compassion. Moss convincingly but never gratuitously portrays the gore, horror and boredom of war. An intimate look at a soldier's life from a compelling, historical perspective. (author's note, thumbnail biographies, timeline, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 12 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Nineteen-year-old Sarah has been passing as a man for three years when the Civil War begins. Determined to be a part of history, she enlists in the Union army as Frank Thompson, serving, respectively, as a nurse, postmaster, spy, and orderly. Based on the true story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who became the only woman to be recognized by acts of Congress as an honorably discharged soldier, Moss' novel offers a fascinating, first-person portrait of a woman who notes, I can't figure out who I'm supposed to be . . . I'm doomed to be neither fish nor fowl. A keen observer, Sarah/Frank offers a vivid portrait of the horrors of war and the increasing difficulties of maintaining her masquerade when she falls in love with a male nurse. Nicely designed, the book is enhanced by the inclusion of numerous photographs from the Civil War period. Appended material includes a time line, a bibliography, and thumbnail portraits of Civil War generals.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist


Go to:Top of Page