A Soldier's Secret: The Incredible True Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero by Marissa Moss. Grades 5 and up. Amulet Books, 2012. 387 pages. Review copy provided by publisher for Young Hoosier Book Award consideration. This review reflects only my own opinion, not necessarily the opinion of the committee!
Plot summary from book jacket:
Frank Thompson isn't your ordinary Union Army soldier. He's also a nurse, tending to wounded soldiers on the battlefield... a spy, crossing Rebel lines and risking his life to find out what the enemy has planned... a mail carrier, delivering letters, foodstuffs, and news from home to his fellow soldiers. But Frank has a secret that could cost him his place in his beloved army. And maybe even his life.
Frank Thompson is actually Sarah Emma Edmonds.
So, are you a reader who likes a historical novel that you can really sink your teeth into? Or maybe you're a reader who loves action-packed battle scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat? If you're either or both, you should definitely pick up this book.
Based on the life of Sarah Emma Edmonds, A Soldier's Secret is a great blend of historical detail and war action wrapped up in a character that you'll be rooting for throughout. The pacing varies to great effect as the reader is given meaty bits rich with historical detail interspersed with faster-paced war action.
This is a great choice for Women's History Month or for tweens who are looking for books with a kick-butt heroine!
For a nonfiction take on the same subject matter, hand 'em I'll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War by Anita Silvey. This book features the true stories of many women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War.
If readers like the action and kick-butt heroine in a historical setting, try Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer or Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.
If it's the rich Civil War setting that they like, I'd try The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick or Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis.
A Soldier's Secret is on shelves now!