Mary Bowser was a real spy in the White House! Readers will be challenged to solve the mystery.
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“If you could go back to anytime or place in history, where would you put your spy skills to use?”
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If you love a great mystery this book will challenge you to solve a mystery while you read the story. Clues are embedded in the illustrations and text. Spycraft materials, including a replica Civil War cipher wheel, some in a sealed envelop in the book. Use both to discover what happeded to Mary Bower's secret diary.
Mary Bowser circa 1900
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Title: Spy On History – Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring
Author: Enigma Alberti
Illustrations: Tony Cliff
Publisher: Workman Publishing
Mary Bowser was born into slavery but was set free by the Van Lew family of Quakers. Bet Van Lew taught her to read and even sent her to school in Philadelphia. She worked for a few years as a teacher in Liberia. During this time, the state of Virginia claimed themselves as their very own country. They were called The Confederate States of America. Taking action, Bet Van Lew began to create a network of spies in Richmond. When Bet discovered that Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy and his wife were looking for a maid, Mary was asked to be the spy.
Everything Mary overheard she reported back. When she discovered that some papers appeared to have code hidden in them she set out to decipher the hidden messages. Meanwhile, with President Lincoln preparing the Emancipation Proclamation slave owners worried about the millions they had spent on slaves and what would happen if there were no more slaves to work the lands. As General Lee planned to bring Virginia back from the Confederacy talk was spreading that there was a spy within the walls. What would happen to Mary if she were found out? You’ll have to read the story to see.
The story of Mary Bowser is intriguing for any mystery buff. Readers are equipped with the necessary tools to discover and decode a mystery within the pages. Parents and teachers can use this guide for a read-a-loud project or to get readers involved with learning about history.
Author: Enigma Alberti is the nom de plume of a secret cadre of authors who are each writing a book in the Spy on History series.
Illustrator: Tony Cliff is the author and artist behind the bestselling Delilah Dirk graphic novel series. Find more on Tony at www.tonycliff.com and @TangoCharlie on Twitter.