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HomeAcademics & ActivitiesBook Reviews

History books for second graders

Secret soldiers, sneaky cats, and intrepid pioneers bring the past to life.

By Hank Pellissier

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Secret Soldier

The Secret Soldier: The Story of Deborah Sampson
By Ann McGovern, illustrated by Harold Goodwin and Katherine Thompson

How can a penniless 18-year-old girl travel the world seeking adventures in 1778? Deborah assumes a man's identity — "Robert Shurtliff" — and enlists as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Fighting bravely against the redcoats, her gender secret isn't discovered until she is wounded. Exciting reading for risk-taking kids.

Hank Pellissier is a freelance writer whose fiction and essays have been been widely published and anthologized. A former columnist for Salon and SF Gate, he is a regular contributor to h+ Magazine.

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