Monday, January 22, 2018

Middle Grade Monday: Spy on History: Victor Dowd and the World War II Ghost Army by Enigma Alberti

Spy on History: Victor Dowd and the World War II Ghost Army by Enigma Alberti. Illustrated by Scott Wegener. Spy on History series #2. 96 p. Workman Publishing, January 23, 2018. 9780761193265. (Review from finished copy courtesy of publisher.)

This was fun even though I stink at decoding. If you have a history or spy buff in your life, hand this book to him or her. Heck, just display this attractive, enticing little volume and it should go out and stay out. Everything from it's trim size through the blood-red, die-cut cover screams, "Pick me up!" Profusely illustrated in black, gray and red, the narrative engages from page one and ratchets up the suspense as events unfold. Selected typography pops bold and enlarged on nearly every page. There are clues embedded throughout the book from the map at the front, the copyright page all the way to the end. 

Readers will find an envelope (hopefully) containing four items needed to break the codes in the front. It should be interesting to see how this works with library books, as my 39 Clues books were rarely returned with the cards in place. Backmatter includes a historical note, suggestions for further reading, and sealed pages with the answers, which, of course, I had to look at because I solved NOTHING. 

While I was aware of deception using dummy equipment during WWII, this story really brought to life how complicated the entire project was as well as the danger to the very talented troops recruited for the top secret task.

This is the first I've learned of this series. I am definitely ordering #1, Spy On History: Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring and will be on the lookout for any future entries. Check out the Workman's page for the book where you can view some of the pages.

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