Nurse, Solider, Spy

The Story of Sarah Edmonds - A Civil War Hero

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday
hosted today by School Library Journal's
Practically Paradise
Abrams Books for Young Readers
(pub. 3.1.2011)
48 pages

A True Tale with A C
herry On Top

              and Illustrator: JOHN HENDRIX

C haracter: Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War hero

verview from book flap: 
     "When Frank Thompson sees a poster requesting recruits for the new Union army, he is ready and willing to enlist.  Except Frank isn't his real name. In fact, Frank isn't a man - he is really Sarah Emma Edmonds.
     At only nineteen years old, Sarah had already been dressing as a man for three years and living on the run in order to escape an arranged marriage.  She had tasted freedom, and there was no going back.
     Eager to fight for the North during the Civil War, Sarah ... excels as a soldier [and as a nurse].  Because of her heroism, she is asked to become a spy...
     This incredible, true story of a brave young woman who makes an unlikely choice to fight for her country is one that should not be lost to history."

T antalizing taste: 
      "Freedom, she knew, wasn't something to take for granted.  It was something to fight for, to cherish.
     And so long as her heart was beating strong, that's just what she would do."

and something more:
  The picture book biography, Nurse, Soldier, Spy, is a perfect book to wrap up this month's celebration of Women's History Month.  As Marissa Moss wrote in the Author's Note, Sarah Emma Edmonds Seelye "became the first and only woman to be recognized as a veteran of the Civil War with an honorable discharge and to receive a pension and back pay for her service.  She was also the only woman invited to join the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), the association for Civil War veterans of the Union army... [She] was the only woman to be buried in a military cemetery, in a plot reserved for Civil War veterans." 
     As John Hendrix' commented in his Artist's Note, he needed to draw Sarah "to look different from the other characters in the book, but still appear strong and confident in her abilities."  Yes!  She certainly was a strong and confident woman who not only performed the roles of nurse, solider and spy during the Civil War, but also, after the war, worked with her husband to improve the lives of others in a number of good causes.

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