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Spy on History: Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring: 04/09/18
Spy on History: Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring by Enigma Alberti is at first glance a fictionalized account of the work of Mary Bowser. It's the story of how she is working as a spy from inside the house of Jefferson Davis. She is the perfect spy because as a black woman she is practically invisible and isn't expected to be able to read.
At this level the book is interesting but not exactly engaging. There's very little in the way of text and hardly any character development. The book does include some information on her at the back but this book works best if the reader goes into the story knowing a thing or two about her and her work. In a classroom setting, this book could be used in conjunction with some longer texts or lectures.
The second piece of this book is a riddle that's thread throughout the book that gives the location of where Mary Bowser has hidden the diary mentioned in the body of the text. The book uses cyphers and clues that can only be revealed by using the red cellophane strip included.
If I were still in the target age range, I would find these clues amazingly fun and I'd probably want to collect the entire series (or at least check them all out). As an adult, I found the book rather gimmicky.
Right now there are two books. The second book is Spy On History: Victor Dowd and the World War II Ghost Army, which was released on January 23, 2018.