HA! I like this one. The word in the Write 31 days challenge is avoid. My book is Spies, Lies and Disguise. What do spies want to avoid having done to them? Being captured! Today we get to learn how spies worked to avoid being captured in World War Two.
Spies, Lies, and Disguise: The Daring Tricks and deeds that won World War II.
Kevin O’Malley (illustrator).
160 pages, 9-12 years, grade 5-8.
Reviewed for Raincoast Books.
World War Two, history, spies, disguise, military, Europe,
In the late 1930s, times were desperate. The world found itself at war again, less than twenty years after the first World War had ended. No one could quite believe it. And no one wanted it. The leaders of every country involved were left with no choice. They had to try to end the war as fast as possible, using whatever means they could.
That meant coming up with secret operations meant to deceive, deflect, and confuse their enemies. …… These were all real tactics attempted with the ultimate goal of defeating Hitler. In this off-center look at history, readers will be captivated by the classified and covert efforts made by each side as they tried to gain the upper hand and win the war. Restricted access is lifted to give the reader a peek into the top secret operations of the daring men and women who fought the war under a cloak of secrecy.
The Details of Spies, Lies, and Disguise
What a fun read. I know, might not sound like a fun read but I thought it was GREAT. Not fun as in ha ha joke, but fun because I learned so much! It was also written in an “invite you in style”. Not a dry read but quick moving, draw you in, causing you want to know what job comes next.
Each chapter started with a wanted poster. Stating what sort of people were wanted, and then an intriguing title. Like seriously…wouldn’t you want to know what type of spy a night witch would be?
We are then walked into a scenario, the need for smart people with a particular skill set. Actual case scenarios are explained and laid out. This one made me laugh. The idea that skipping stones could be a useful skill and then discovering that indeed it was! I was so surprised that I blurted out “it worked! Skipping bombs worked!” This of course got my lad’s interest so over he came where I showed him the picture of how the bombs were used. He was suitably impressed but demanded I don’t tell him anything more so he could read this book on his own. No spoilers allowed.
Many of the chapters closed with a short vignette of a helpful spy or a helpful science scoop that directly connected with the chapter. Occasionally images would be included like this one of the boats.
If you have any interest in being a spy, in covert activities, code-making, or world war 2… get Spies, Lies, and Disguise. It is a fascinating look into the world of being a spy. Whether it be as a look out, or to set a misleading trail, spies were busy confounding the enemy. It’s approachable style makes it an easy read, with nothing too complicated to understand.
Some day I will teach (I hope) from this book in a co-op class. I think it would a hoot to engage teenagers in how they could do the work of a spy themselves and avoid being captured in the process.