59. The Secret Soldier

The Secret Soldier, The Story of Deborah Sampson by Ann McGovern
Illustrated by Harold Goodwin

Pages: 64
Finished: Mar. 13, 2009
First Published: 1975
Genre: children, biography
Rating: 3.5/5

Reason for Reading: Read aloud to my 8yo as part of our curriculum.

First sentence:

Deborah's mother looked down at her five sleeping children.

Comments: This is a brief, easy to read (RL3) biography of Deborah Sampson, a young woman who disguised herself as a man so she could fight in the American Revolution. The story is told quickly but in an entertaining, interesting way. While being a biography for children I think the proper term would be "biographical fiction" as much dialogue and feelings are used which couldn't possibly be known as fact, plus there is no index. But that is no reason not to read the book, as far as I know the facts are all true. Sampson was a remarkable woman for her time, who defied social conventions and led the life of adventure that she so yearned for. After her days of adventure she did marry and have children, as was expected at the time. When the truth came out everyone was totally shocked and had no idea that the young soldier was indeed a woman. An interesting tale of one of the early woman refusing to play her requisite role as a female in a male dominated world.


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