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Spies in Disguise at Gettysburg Review by Jodi GallandNational Park Mystery Series
Button Wood Press, LLC
P.O. Box 716
Haslett, MI 48840
Mary Morgan's Spies in Disguise at Gettysburg is a 167 page paperback book. There are a few black and white Illustrations by Dawn McVay Baumer, as well as some photographs in the resources at the end of the book. Retail price of the book is $7.95. My family and I actually visited Gettysburg in the midst of reading this book, which made it extra special for us.
After Stephen wins an essay contest; he, Ben, Bekka, Hannah, and the entire fifth grade class from a Lansing, Michigan elementary school earn a trip to Gettysburg National Military Park for the 150th anniversary of the battles which took place there. Two other schools, one from Pennsylvania and one from New York are also attending. In fact, there's a real north vs. south event when three southern classes arrive as well. The students (and readers) learn all about life in the 1860s, playing games and eating foods that might have been served to children in that time.
They camp, eat, and play together during their visit to the historic site. It isn't all fun and games, though, beginning with a set of stolen jacks. The thefts begin to escalate and children and teachers on both sides have items taken. Even Ranger Moore is victimized when his great-great uncle's Civil War pocket watch disappears. Thanks to some clever thinking and Bekka's F.Y.I., the mystery is solved! That's not really a spoiler because you knew the mystery needed closure, or who would want to read the book! If you want to know whether the northern kids or southern kids won the games, you'll have to read that for yourself.
A map of the town and battle of Gettysburg is among the many additions in the back of this book. Also included, are a few comprehension questions, facts about the state of Pennsylvania and Gettysburg in particular, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, black and white photos of several of the state monuments located throughout the park, a recipe for Mulligan Stew, and a fun Morse Code riddle.
Other books in the National Park Mystery Series are set in the Grand Canyon, the Florida Everglades, Boston, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, and Pictured Rocks in Michigan. My son is hoping Mrs. Morgan will next write a book set at Steamtown National Historic Site in Pennsylvania. *fingers crossed*
I did not see an actual intended age range for this book, but I would recommend the series for ages 9-12 and as a read aloud for ages six and up. It's a fun and easy read with short chapters only a few pages each.
-Product review by Jodi Galland, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2018