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Title: Nathan Hale: Revolutionary Spy by Nathan Olson
Nathan Hale was a young man who lived in Connecticut immediately prior to the Revolutionary War. He was a student at Yale and later taught others (even getting up to teach girls for free). Having grown up amid the colonists’ unrest due to British taxes, he volunteered to join the army. Nathan’s willingness to serve as a spy and his refusal to betray his country are commendable. Unfortunately, his life was cut short when he was only 21 years old.
I think this book is a great beginner biography for elementary-age children. They get a quick overview of Nathan’s life–just enough to pique their interest. Once they’re at a higher reading level they can come back to Nathan’s story and read a book that is more in depth.
I enjoyed reading about Nathan and the defining moments in his life. He sounds like a remarkable young man, and it’s a tragedy that his life was cut short. I’m sure he would have gone on to do many more commendable deeds had he lived longer. Particularly gratifying was his view on the importance of educating women. He was truly ahead of his times!
The book is divided into four very short chapters: Student and Teacher, Soldier and Leader, Daring Spy, and War Hero. At the end, you’ll find a section with more information about Nathan Hale.
I recommend Nathan Hale: Revolutionary Spy to kids who enjoy graphic novels and would prefer to learn about history through that medium. This particular book is best suited to elementary-age children.
- Nathan is hanged (while we only see his silhouette, kids may still find it disturbing)
Rating: 4 Stars
Until next time…