Friday, August 30, 2013

Ariel Bradley: Spy for General Washington by Lynda Durrant

Ariel Bradley: Spy for General Washington
by Lynda Durrant
illustrated by Joe Rossi
Picture Book Nonfiction
September 2013
Book Jacket Summary
This book is based on a true event, the real life adventure of nine year-old Ariel Bradley. It reveals the anxiety of the Americans, who a battle in the first months of the Revolutionary War. It also shows George Washington’s keen sense of humor and his wily, perceptive view of his British adversaries.
Ariel Bradley is Washington’s boy spy who pretends to be a country bumpkin (a “Johnny Raw”). He ‘stumbles’ into General Howe’s camp “looking for the mill” his father has sent him in search of. In reality, he is assessing the strength and numbers of the British and their Hessian (German) allies. After he is sent on his way by the unsuspecting English, he reports this to General Washington and his staff. This information proves key in what became known as the Battle of White Plains.

My Thoughts
I love books that highlight a piece of history that is obscure. It is nice to find information about the Revolutionary War and the people who helped shape our nation. Ariel Bradley is one of those people from history who helped our Union. He acted as a "Johnny Raw"  or a country bumpkin to spy on the British during the Revolutionary War. Bradley helped General Washington know how many mercenaries and British soldiers there were in the camps. This is a great history lesson for younger kids who are interested in the Revolutionary War and how kids actually helped out.
In the acknowledgements the author credits the idea on an article he read. You never know when inspiration might strike as an author. Plus, "All the profits from the book benefit the Fisher House Foundation , dedicated to helping America's military families in their time of need." Love that the publisher is so helpful to charities.

Book Pairings
The Fighting Ground by Avi
Betsy Zane, the Rose of Fort Henry by Lynda Durrant 


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