Title: The Secret AgentThe-Secret-Agent
Author: Allan Zullo
Pages: 147
Recommended Ages: 12 & up
Star Rating: ★★★★

Remember The Secret is Out? The Secret Agent follows the same idea, only all of its characters are youths.

Their Lives.

1)      The Carolina Heroine. Emily Geiger serves the Patriot cause by helping her partially-paralyzed father supply the Patriots with food from their crops. But when a more thrilling, more dangerous opportunity comes, she jumps at it. Will Emily safely deliver General Greene’s message to General Sumter, or will she be caught?

2)      The Texas Rat. Kit Benson doesn’t want to leave his family’s log cabin, but he has no choice. The ruthless Mexican general, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna has destroyed the Alamo and is now making his way towards their home, destroying everything in his path. So, when the opportunity comes to deliver important information to General Sam Houston, Kit doesn’t hesitate. But will he be caught before he reaches Houston’s camp?

3)      The Newsboy. Charles Phillips pretends to be a regular newsboy, selling papers on the streets of Richmond, Virginia. And he is a newsboy – but that’s not all he is. He’s also a spy who ferrets information out of the men he sells papers to. But Jim and Tom Smith, fellow newsboys, seem to suspect that Charles is more than he seems. Charles must be careful…

4)      The Rebel Joan of Arc. Belle Boyd loves her Southern life and is deeply disgusted by the uncouth Union soldiers who now occupy her beloved Shenandoah. But if by mingling with the soldiers, she can gain useful information for the Confederacy – now that is a different matter altogether!

5)      The Slave Boy. Charley Felton didn’t plan to be a spy – all he wanted was to escape from his cruel master’s plantation and begin a new life in the North. But when he overheard his master speaking of important military plans, he knew he didn’t have a choice. He must warn the Union soldiers!

6)      The Boy Martyr. David Dodd is just an ordinary boy – until the day his friend, Confederate General James F. Fagan, lightheartedly suggests that he spy while conducting business in enemy territory. And so, he does, and by doing so, he becomes embroiled in a greater mess than he could ever have imagined…

7)      The Boy Scout. Joe Leysin is ecstatic to meet Baden-Powell, a member of the British Secret Service, and learn spying techniques from him. Joe believes that he has spotted a few spies himself, and goes in to discover them. He soon learns that unmasking a spy is far more difficult than he knew!

8)      The School Girl. Marguerite Vourc’h is from a patriotic French family. So, when that beast, Adolph Hitler invades her native land, she retaliates with the best that she can give – her unique spying abilities!

9)      The Peasant Girl. Nobody suspects Ingeborg Klein of being a spy. But that’s just what she is. She fits perfectly into the little French village where she and her mother live – speaks the language like a native – but she is German born. She knows the language. And she uses her knowledge against the Nazis!

10)   The Hungry Orphan. Choon Kyung Ko has the perfect alias identity; he pretends to be a poor beggar, orphaned by the recent tragedies which have ravaged Korea. And he is an orphan. But he is also a spy who penetrates the enemy’s camps and reports back information to his friends in South Korea. Will his very audacity keep him alive, or will he be found out?

Cautions.

Emily Geiger goes on several missions without asking permission of her father. He and she support the same cause, but she (correctly) believes that he would not allow her to participate in dangerous missions if she asked permission of him.

Belle Boyd notoriously used her beauty to extract important information from enemy soldiers. Called the ‘Siren of the Shenandoah’ and ‘Cleopatra of the Secession’, Belle was a first rate flirt. Nothing truly inappropriate is included from her exploits, but she is portrayed in mildly flirtatious situations.

David Dodd encourages mild flirting amongst soldiers and local girls as a method of gathering information.

A soldier says that he will kiss Ingeborg Klein, but she is disgusted at the thought and forestalls the event.

Marguerite Vourc’h has a crush on one of her fellow agents.

Several war-related lies are told. One girl tells an additional, unnecessary lie.

‘God’ is used three times, ‘Dieu’ once. ‘Darn’ is used twice and ‘damn’ and ‘gee’ once each.

Conclusion. Exciting accounts of remarkably brave youths who served their country with steadfastness.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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